Ask Osleriana: A Searchable Database
Electronic Documents Archives

Created by Alexander D. Jones & H. Michael Jones, MD. A labor of love begun in 2006 & nursed to its feet by financial aid from Frank Neelon, MD & Duke University. Entrusted to the American Osler Society.

Title        Document Text

Tips for searching the AskOsleriana Database


An outline of the file structure of the database contents can be displayed by searching on the word “sketch”, which will bring up a word document in outline form of the basics of the contents.


The database (and its search function) is accessed from the home page of the AOS website under AskOsleriana (red button at bottom of home page or under “resources” at top right. The user is presented with a simple single bar in which to enter a search term. Since some of the materials in the database do not have “body text”, such as photos or audio files, the only means of searching for these is by title, which is a separate search from that for matches in the body of textual documents. For completeness it is suggested that users do a search for their words of interest in both modes. When the “Search” button is clicked, the user will be presented with all the “hits” found in the database (varies depending on search by “title” or “document text”).


The initial “hits” produced in step 1 is a simple listing of files found with basic identifying information. This alone may be enough to cue the user as to whether the individual file will be useful information for their purposes. If not, each individual file can be examined further by clicking on one of the two choices below the title: download or preview. Clicking “download” will download the file (as a Word .doc or PDF file) into one’s own device, where it can be opened and manipulated with your own application. Clicking “preview” will open another window which displays the first page of the document of interest along with a page location indicator and tool bar menu at the bottom.

Normally one will want to click on the “hamburger” icon at the bottom to open the tool menu, which will present the user with not only the search icon (magnifying glass), but tools to zoom in or out (enlarge or shrink text), rotate the image, select text for further actions, or display all pages as thumbnail images.

Once the first page of the document is displayed, one can advance a page at a time by clicking the single arrow at the bottom or multiple pages to the end by clicking the double arrow.

The most used function will be to search for the same word of interest again to display it within the file chosen. Click the magnifying glass and another search box will open at the bottom—enter the text string of interest and then hit enter or click the magnifying glass icon. All instances of the string will be found and highlighted in blue on the document, defaulting to the first instance marked in darker blue. At the same time the number of hits will be listed at the bottom next to the entered string. By clicking the > symbol the next “hit” will found and highlighted in the darker blue.

Larger files such as PowerPoint with many images may take a few seconds to load once you select “preview document”, during which time the page may be blank.

When finished with the document of interest, simply close the tab displaying it and you will be returned to the “hit” page so another document can be selected to repeat the more selective process.