What is LISTA?
LISTA - The Arizona Historical Society online catalog is a fairly new feature created and used recently by AHS staff to digitize
and digitally catalog their current physical archival collection. The initial stages of LISTA development were started by integrating
individual collection information and collection finding aid's into an online database.
Using the LISTA Online Catalog
Step 1 - Finding the web site
You can find the link to the LISTA page on the main web site on the Library/Archives Tab, however the above Link on this page
will connect you directly to the online catalogue. The catalog itself is simple with only three buttons providing a search function, links
related to the collection, and a third tab providing up-to-date information on the AHS itself.
Step 2 - Searching
Click the search button. You will be prompted to a menu with two searching options. A BASIC search, and an
When first opening LISTA you will be prompted to use the basic search function when you enter the window.
Below the search window are instructions to help search the catalog along with information toward acquiring the best results
possible while searching. This includes the type of search being used, and format of search being performed.
Step 3 - Limiting your search
If a user would like to limit the extent of their search, there is a button on the bottom right side of the search menu labeled limits.
This function works in conjunction with a service called WebVoyage that helps to organize and outline search information for
collection content. Setting a limit will reduce the amount of results found using the catalog if to many related items are found.
Step 4 - What type of search is right for you?
Basic Search - This function provides the minimum amount of required information to perform a search of the collection via
a KEYWORD or SUBJECT search along with the selection of a specific CATAGORY. Once a basic search is preformed,
you are prompted to a list of files held within the collection. Each file is given a number, relevance rating, title, and file type.
Additional information may be given to files if available.
Advanced Search - The advanced search tab is much like that of the basic search for finding materials located within the AHS
physical collections, however, the advanced option provides the user with an additional search function called "Boolean Operators".
This function allows a user to expand or narrow their search using a combination of AND, OR, NOT with SUBJECT HEADINGS
and KEYWORDS. Follow the link for a demonstration of each of the three types of Boolean Operators.
Step 5 - Finding a document
Determine if you are a new user or an advanced user.
If you have used online databases, or have done research using physical collections you may have enough experience to use the
ADVANCED function on the LISTA online catalog. If you haven't had any experience or are a new user to the LISTA online catalog,
use the BASIC search function.
Once you have determined the type of search you will use, find the best subject heading that reflects what you are searching.
(Example: If looking up information on tucson building development from 1929 to 1950. You should use keywords such as: Zoning
Committee, Tucson Development, Historic Districts, Midtown/Downtown Development)
However, if you know of the author of a specific collection, searching will become significantly easier. Calling or talking with an archivist
or librarian while searching will make this process move more quickly.
Step 6 - Using what you found online!
Once you have a list of sources from your search, click on the links to read the finding aids for each to see if the collection has the
information you are looking for, for your subject.
Copy the title, author, box number, and individual sections you want to search.
Once you have found the information on the LISTA web site, look to see if the collection has been digitized. If it has, you can look at
the collection online, if it has not, you will have to go to the archival collection holding the materials you are seeking.
Notes - Current LISTA limitations
LISTA currently holds documents only located from within the Main Location and Downtown collections.
The LISTA online catalog only contains materials from these two collections because it is still in the stages of development and use.
Not all items within the two collections have even been digitized online for the catalog. This means that a name and file number may
be given but document or collection information may not be available as of yet. This may also mean that not all items in the physical
collection are on LISTA as well.
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