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Database Guidance Sheet

Using the database

The project database has a simple design that is intended to be intuitive to the user, however, as we are all aware, one person's idea of intuitive is entirely counter-intuitive to another person! This guidance sheet evolved from queries which arose amongst users during database testing phase and may provide helpful advice if you are not receiving sensible results for your searches.

One important thing to remember: The fields (boxes) on the Simple Search pages hold onto the information you have previously asked for, so you must remember to clear the field(s) before starting a new search. (in the ‘Simple' search you simply need to check that the two fields are empty, if they are not, simply place the mouse cursor in the field and delete) the ‘Advanced' search pages have a ‘clear' button at the bottom of the page, which will clear all fields on the page.)

The Search Options

 There are two search options ‘Simple' and ‘Advanced'. In either mode you may choose to have your results returned in the following formats: Brief Overview List, Detailed record per page or Detailed records in report format (useful for printing out results).

Simple Search

The Simple Search is the default menu page and the search you are likely to use most often. (If you already know the database ID number of the production you are searching for, please see the Advanced Search details below.)

This has six search categories : Ancient playwright; Ancient play; Production title; Person associated with the production; Production category; Company; Choose one category and enter a word or partial word if you are unsure of the spelling. You may also enter years if you find this helpful, but this is not obligatory. For example, if you are looking for the company Actors of Dionysus , you could enter the single word Actor, Actors, or Dionysus (which will return not only the Actors of Dionysuscompany but also other companies containing those words) or, if you are certain of the Company name, you can enter the specific title of Actors of Dionysus . The partial entry is often the safest initially, particularly if you are using a category such as Production Title , where words such as ‘the' and ‘a' are often moved to the end of the title rather than the beginning. You can also enter year date in ‘From' and ‘To' (e.g. [from] 1980 [to] 1999). However, in each category you also have the option of using either a pull down list or a list button. This details all records in that category to help you be specific in choosing what to enter. The ‘year of production' box on each page is also useful if you wish to check for productions prior to a certain year (e.g. type 1980 in the ‘To' box and leave ‘From' box empty) or after a certain year (e.g. type 1992 in the ‘From' box and leave ‘To' box empty)

The Ancient playwright category contains, as well as the ancient authors, two other options: ‘Various' and ‘Image/Myth/Legend'. The ‘Various' options return modern productions which have been based on two or more ancient plays, and the ‘Image/Myth/Legend' returns all performances based on an image, myth or legend, rather than on an ancient play.

Advanced Search (the final option on the ‘Simple' search menu page)

Works as above, however the advanced search requires precise entry into its fields. We strongly recommend you use the drop down lists or buttons where given. When you are familiar with the Advanced Search you may like to try out the ‘Turn on search lists' at the bottom, which allows you to search in a slightly different way. Remember to use the ‘Turn off search lists' button to return to the normal Advanced Search page.

If you know the DB ID number of the production you wish to search for enter the number in the final field on this page (Production ID).