Emory Digital Collections User Guide

This user guide documents the basic functionality of Emory Digital Collections.

To report a problem or send a question, please see our Help and Troubleshooting page.

Logging In and Out

Emory University account holders can use their credentials to log in to Emory Digital Collections using the Log In link at the top right, allowing access to certain restricted material and the saved bookmarking feature. A successful login is demonstrated when the user name appears at the top right. Click Log Out to do so.


Getting Started

The search that appears in the header throughout Digital Collections has a dropdown to help customize your search. The default is Common Fields. Common fields are frequently-searched fields such as title, subject, keywords, and identifiers. You can also expand your search with the All Fields option, or target it with the Title, Creator, or Subject options. Blank searches are allowed.

Drilling Down

Once you conduct a search, you can limit your search using the dropdowns that appear on the left side of the search results. For dropdowns with more than five list items, click “more” to view all of the items in the list and sort them numerically or alphabetically.

You can select as many limiters as you wish, and you can toggle them on and off using the dropdown menus or the search limiter(s) that appear near the top of the page. The Start Over button will clear all of your search limiters and take you back to the homepage.

Sorting Your Results

Various sort options are available to adjust the order in which your search results appear. Relevance is the default. Use the dropdown at the top right of the search results to adjust the sort by title, creator, or date. Remember that some objects have unknown creators and dates.

Viewing Your Results

Once you start exploring your search results, you can selectively view them by clicking a result of interest, and then clicking Back to Search near the top of the page. Alternatively, you can use the Next or Previous button to view them in sequence. You can also use the back and forward buttons on your browser as you would on any website.

Search Relevancy

Entering an empty search will return all objects in a results list, including works and collections. Since relevancy is based primarily on search terms, the empty search will sort by year, then title.

Boolean Searching

Boolean search operators can be used in the header search that appears on all pages. Boolean search operators cannot be used on the advanced search page.

AND / + : Require terms in your search (african AND american) (african +american). This is default behavior and will return the same results as (african american).

OR : Require only selected terms in your search (african american OR men, african OR american OR men)

NOT / - : Words following will be excluded from results if the object contains this term (african NOT american) (african -american)

" " : Searches by phrase, requiring terms to be adjacent ("african american").

Wildcards (*, ?, !) are not supported.

Advanced Search

Follow the Advanced Search link at the top right of any page to perform highly specific searches. The dropdown near the top allows you to search for matches for “all” or “any” of parameters that you enter into the various fields below. Another dropdown toward the bottom allows you to pre-sort your results.

Remember that you cannot use Boolean operators within the search fields. Boolean operators are only allowed in the single searchbox on the home page and most other pages.


From the homepage, you can view and browse by various topics of interest using the dropdowns on the left side of the page. For dropdowns with more than five list items, click “more” to view all of the items in the list and sort them numerically or alphabetically. To view all items in Emory Digital Collections, leave the searchbox at the top right empty and click Search.

You can also use the links on any item page to explore various subjects, keywords, and other terms related to your item of interest.

Date Slider

The "Date" dropdown contains a histogram of objects by year, based on your current search parameters. To adjust your date range, type in years directly or adjust the slider, and click "Apply." If your results contain items with an unknown date, that limiter will appear below the date slider with the number of items indicated.

In order to browse using the date slider from the homepage, make your date selection and then click Search in the header at the top right of the page.

Collection Pages

Collection pages list all of the items in a given research collection, and provide information about the collection overall. You can find Featured Collections on the homepage, or use search tools to find your collection of interest. Each item is associated with a collection, and that collection is listed above the “Find this Item” pane on the item’s page.

Access Restrictions

Some items are only visible to users in certain locations or with a login. You can find this information in the Access facet on the left side of the search results in the application.


Anyone can view and download these items. Some items in the Langmuir collection are lower-resolution and not downloadable.

Login Required 

An Emory login is required to view and download these items from outside the library. Some items in the Langmuir collection are lower-resolution and not downloadable.

An appointment at the Rose Library will be required to view these objects for those without an Emory login. For non-logged in users, items of this status will display “Login Required,” instead of a thumbnail preview on the search results page.

Reading Room Only 

An appointment at the Rose Library will be required for anyone wishing to view these items, and they are not downloadable.

Items of this status will display “Reading Room Only,” instead of a thumbnail preview on the search results page.


In order to download items for objects permitting download, click the download icon in the lower left corner of the viewer. A popup will present your download options. Select one, click “Download” to open the item in a new window, and save to your local drive using your preferred mechanism (such as left-click). 

Cite (in development)

To generate a citation for an object, click the Cite link on the Tools menu. A popup will appear with suggested citations in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. Note that you should verify the accuracy, completeness, and format before using the citation in a research capacity.


Logged in users will see a checkbox to bookmark objects on the right of search result listings and in the Tools menu of a view object pages. Items that have been bookmarked previously will have the checkbox already populated. Uncheck the box to remove objects from Bookmarks.

To view or edit all bookmarks, visit the Bookmarks link at the top right of any page header. Bookmarks will be saved for the next logged in session.


The History link at the top right of all pages lists your search history, which includes browsing activity via the drop downs on the left side of the homepage and search pages. The history section will only retain information from your current session. If you close your browser, history will be cleared.

More information and contact us

Find more information about About Digital Collections, or Contact and Feedback information at the Digital Collections site.