TRUNCATION: This search engine uses automatic truncation, so if you type the word "band" you will get hits on records containing the word "bandstand" or "bandstands" as well. In general it is wise to type singular words. Typing "bandstands" will not give you a record that has the word "bandstand" in it, but the opposite is true.
CAPITALIZATION of any search terms is unnecessary, but won't negatively affect your search either.
SEARCH FIELDS: The following fields of the record are searched using the basic search form: Subjects, Personal Names, Brief Description, Full Caption, Street Names, Neighborhoods, Photographer, View (aerial, beach scene, etc.), and Format (color print, digital, slide, etc.).
SUBJECTS: All significant parts of each photo are included as subjects. Do not look here for personal names, business or organization names, neighborhoods or names of streets. To find out which terms the library uses, use the "Browse Subject List" link.
BUSINESS OR ORGANIZATION NAMES: Names of businesses and organizations that appear in the photo or are mentioned in the text are included here. Click on "Browse Business and Organizations List" to see a list of all those included in the database.
PERSONAL NAMES: Names of all known individuals in each photo are included, as well as anyone who may be mentioned in the caption, even if not pictured in the photo. Click on "Browse Personal Names List" to see a list of everyone in the database.
SEARCH BY DECADE: Select a decade from the drop-down list to view all photos taken during that time period. Many photos are of unknown date so more than one decade may be applied to the same picture.
START and END DATES: Use this feature to search for all photos taken in or after or in or before a given year. Fill in both boxes to limit your date range. NOTE: Many photos are of unknown date so the date given to them (and searched by this search form) are merely approximations.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Select a neighborhood from the drop down box. This will enable you to view all photos taken in a given section of town or beach. Not all photos will have a neighborhood listed, as some are taken in more remote areas of town for which it is difficult to classify their "neighborhood".
STREET: Be sure that you only type the street name, and not the street type (boulevard, court, street, terrace, road, avenue, etc.) If you type "lafayette road" you will likely get no hits. The proper search would be just "lafayettte". Up to three streets shown in each photo are indexed. Street names are also often included even when not pictured, if the pictured subject, such as a house or business, is on that street. Exceptions to this rule are Lafayette Road/Route One and Ocean Boulevard, which have so many photos taken along their lengths that indexing every instance would be counterproductive. The only time these two streets are included is when they are actually pictured. Click on "Browse Street Names List" to view a list of all streets currently in the database. As a general rule, streets are indexed under their present-day names, even if, when the photo was taken, they were called something else.
IMAGE VIEW: Use the drop down list to search for images with a given viewpoint, such as aerial, action, beach scenes, building exteriors or interiors, portraits, street scenes, etc.
IMAGE FORMAT: Choose among such options as color print, black and white print, postcards, negatives, slides, published (in books, newspapers etc.) or digital only. This describes the format in which the original photo, as scanned by the library, exists. Many images were scanned from published books or newspapers, and some were sent to us in digital format only.
PHOTOGRAPHER OR ILLUSTRATOR: The photographer is often not known, but when known will be included. Click on "Browse Photographer List" to view a list of all photographers currently in the database.
SOURCES OF PUBLISHED IMAGES: When images are taken from a published source, the source will be included in this drop-down selection.
Each full record contains a full-sized image. Click on the image itself to go to a page that contains just the image with no accompanying text. Right click on the image and your browser should give you an option to download it to your own computer. All photos in the database may be downloaded in this way.
Below each image is a caption describing the photograph in detail. Many captions will contain additional historical information about the subjects of the picture. Next comes a clickable list of streets and neighborhoods. Clicking each term will do a new search for more photos that have those streets or neighborhoods in them. Additional clickable items that appear below are the name of the photographer, owner of the image, source of the published image, subjects and people. The format of the original is also included.
Below the listing of subjects and people are links to up to three web pages that display the image. This is a good way to find out additional information on the subjects contained in the photos.