Find content

The DRS contains a diverse set of files and collections from many areas of the university. Searching can be cumbersome if you are not sure what you to look for. Below are a few search strategies you can use to improve your search experience in the DRS and find the materials you need for your research.

You can find a brief guide to searching the DRS in the Searching and Exploring box on the Get Help page. You can also find a complete guide to search techniques and system search behavior on page 18 of the DRS User Guide.

General search strategies

Where to search

There are two search boxes for you to use:

  • the main search box at the top of the page (highlighted in a purple on the left side of the screenshot below)
  • the collection search box to the right of a collection or community title (highlighted in a purple on the rights side of the screenshot below)

The two DRS search boxes are highlighted in a purple box. The main search is on the left and the collection search is on the right.

The main search box searches across all collections in the DRS. A collection search box searches only the contents of that collection, including the contents of sub-collections.

Limiting your search

Use the "Limit your search" option to narrow your search results. You can find options to reduce your results to the left of the search results in List View or at the top of your results in Grid View.

The left side of the image shows the search result limit options in list view. The right side of the images shows the limit options when in grid view.

You can use these options to narrow your search to a type of material, like images or video, or to a particular year. Depending on your search, you may see options to limit your results by:

  • Creator name
  • Year
  • Department (only for theses and dissertations)
  • College (only for theses and dissertations)
  • Degree Level (only for theses and dissertations)
  • Subject (only for materials cataloged with controlled vocabularies)
  • Type (community, collection, user, image, video, text, etc.)

Search operators

Some standard search techniques will work when searching the DRS:

  • Use quotation marks around a phrase to return results with that exact phrase. For example, a search for social justice will return results that contain the word social and the word justice anywhere in the document. A search for “social justice”, with the words enclosed in quotation marks, will return results containing that exact phrase.
  • Truncation allows you to broaden your search by returning words that share a common root. The DRS truncation symbol is an asterisk (*). Adding this asterisk to a root word will return results with different endings. For example, a search for psych* will return results for psychology, psychologist, psychiatry, psychotherapy, etc.
  • By using wildcards, you can search for different variations of a word in a single search. A search for ‘organization’ will not include items that use the variation ‘organisation’. By inserting a question mark (?) in the space of the variant letter, ‘organi?ation,’ the system will search for both spelling options.

Common search activities

Searching for recent images of Northeastern people, places, and activities

The university's photographers have uploaded thousands of photographs to the Communications Photo Archive. The collection goes back to 2012, so this is be the best place to look for recent photos of Northeastern. You must be an active Northeastern faculty or staff member to view this collection.

To view the most recently captured images, sort search results by "Recently created" or "Recently updated". You may also click the “Recently added button” to sort the entire collection by the most recently uploaded images.

Try searching for Northeastern names or places to improve your results. For example, to view all recent photographs of Cooper the service dog, search for "Cooper" and sort by "Recently uploaded".

Searching for materials related to the history of Northeastern

Northeastern University's Archives and Special Collections use the DRS to store the thousands of photographs, documents, and A/V recordings. An active Northeastern account is not required to view most of these digital collections.

Try browsing the University Archives collection to find the archival collection most relevant to to your work or research. 

To view the most recently created materials, sort search results by "Recently created". To view the most recently added materials, sort search results by "Recently uploaded".

If you're looking for photographs, start with the Northeastern Historical Photographs Collection, which contains images from 1896 – 2010.

Follow @NU_Archives for more featured content from Archives and Special Collections. If you cannot find what you're looking for, try browsing the Archives finding aids or contacting the Archives.

Featured collections