In the appropriate search field, indicate the terms or expressions that best describe the document you are looking for. This might be a person's name, a place name, a subject or any relevant combination. If necessary, perform new searches using synonyms.
Unless you are looking for a specific description, conduct your
initial search using a limited number of terms. You can use wildcard
characters to avoid potential typographical errors or spelling variants:
a question mark (?) is used to replace a single character; the dollar
sign ($) is used to replace a series of characters.
If you type Den?s, you will get Denys and Denis
If you type colon$, you will get colon, colons, colonie,
colonies, colonial, colony, coloniaux, colonel, colonels,
colonisation, colonisateur, etc.
If the search produces too many references, you can narrow the search
using quotation marks or the appropriate Logical connectors.
See the Search syntax link for more
If you type Montréal OR Ville-Marie, you will get a list
of all descriptions in which this city is mentioned, by either name.
If you type Den?s de la Ronde, you will get a list of
descriptions combining these words, regardless of their relationship
to each other.
If you type Den?s ADJ de ADJ la ADJ Ronde you will get all
occurrences where these words are adjacent in the descriptions, in
the order indicated.
To get information about a person, institution or place, try various forms of the name to ensure that you find all relevant information. For example, a person might have been known by different names, as is the case with family names and titles of nobility.
For example: Guy Carleton. Lord Dorchester
Due to technical considerations, some commonly used words and
characters are generally not included in the search. These are the
period (.) and some adverbs, adjectives, prepositions or conjunctions in
English, such as the, by, it, at, near, or, with, not, etc. A
search for these words can however be conducted by putting them in
quotation marks. We advise users to stick to expressions not including
A search for initials or abbreviations is subject to special
conditions. Initials must appear in quotation marks, without any
If you type "L.P.", you will not get any
But if you type in "L P", you will get all
occurrences of L.P., L.-P., L. P.
If possible, search equivalent terms in French and English. In most cases, the descriptions are written in the language of the document. Documents written in other languages are described either in English or in French.
Your search will locate characters with accents even if your keyboard
cannot produce them.
If you type Québec or Quebec, you will get the
Since the Database describes historical documents, attention must be
paid to changes in the meaning of some words, changes in place names and
the many variants of Aboriginal names, and to the translations used by
those who created the documents.
Bytown = Ottawa
New York = Nouvelle York
Oswego = Chouaguen
Indian = Savage = Amerindian = Autochtone
Sulpiciens = Messieurs de Saint-Sulpice