Title or Keyword?

If you are doing more Card Catalog searches in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE)—as I have so often suggested—you may be wondering if it is better to enter a search term in Title or Keyword. My research into this question suggests that one choice provides significantly better results than the other, as these examples will plainly attest:

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE convicts  8 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD convicts  27 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE prisoners  24 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD convicts  49 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE police  22 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD police  31 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE hospital  22 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD hospital  27 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE ships  8 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD ships  71 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE navy  24 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD navy  49 hits

SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—TITLE army  49 hits
SEARCH—CARD CATALOG—KEYWORD army  83 hits

Search button (Maryland.gov illus.)
Search button (Maryland.gov illus.)

Yes, that’s right—seven test searches, and every time searching by Keyword returned the most relevant hits. Now, if you’ve got the time, I would still do both searches (because results can differ slightly)—but if time is a factor, do the Keyword search!

You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

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