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Check for Variants

The Keyword(s) search box on the Basic Search page, and the Keyword(s), Record keyword(s) and Full text keyword(s) fields (TCP subscribers only) on the Advanced Search page, have a Check for variants ›› link next to them. If a word has one or more alternative spellings/forms that appear in EEBO, this link provides access to a list of these alternatives. You can use the Variant spellings and Variant forms checkboxes on the Search pages to choose whether you want to display either variant spellings only, or variant spellings and variant forms.

You must enter a search term in the relevant search box before clicking the Check for variants ›› link in order to display the list of alternatives.

Your original search term, along with the total number of its variants, is displayed in a bar above a list of all the variants. Your search term will already be selected in the list. Each variant in the list displays the number of instances of that variant in the EEBO database.

Note that the most efficient way of retrieving all of the possible variant spellings and variant forms of a given search term is to use the Variant spellings and Variant forms check boxes on the search screens, and that searches constructed manually (by selecting variant spellings and forms from the Check for variants display) are likely to be slower and more prone to failure.

Selecting all variants
  • Click the Select all checkboxes link.
  • Click the Select button to transfer your selections to the search box.
Selecting individual variants
  • Select the checkbox of the variants you want to search on.
  • Click the Select button to transfer your selections to the search box.

Note: Any term you had originally entered in the Keyword(s) search box will be overwritten by the ones you select from this page.

De-selecting variants
  • Click the Clear all checkboxes link to de-select any checkbox that is currently selected, or click the checkbox next to individual variants.

Note that if you have selected a large number of search terms using the Check for variants screen, your search is likely to be slow and may fail altogether. Where this happens it is advisable to try the search again using fewer search terms or to perform the search using the Variant spellings/Variant forms checkboxes.