19th Century Masterfile

Open http://ezproxy.hofstra.edu/login?url=http://history.paratext.com/ncm/html/landing.php in another browser window to work through this tutorial side by side.

Table of Contents, Following Along & Navigation

Click on the Step-by-step Single page view  link on the upper left at any time to jump to various topics in the tutorial.

This tutorial is interactive. When you see this icon magnifying glass , please follow along by actively searching the database as directed.

When you see this symbol ===>, go to the next slide.  

To do so, click on the right-facing arrow on the navigation bar to advance to the next slide.

navigation arrows

You can use the left-facing arrow to go back and review slides as you please, or jump around using the Table of Contents.


Tool Bar - Unlocking, Printing, & Closing the Tutorial

The tool bar Undock, Close, Table of Contents in the upper-right has 3 options:

UN-DOCK: clicking this releases the tutorial from the left side of the screen and allows you to move it around so you can better view features of a resource.  Click this icon again to lock the tutorial to the left side of the screen.

CLOSE: allows you to minimize the tutorial to the "Display Help" tab. It will appear vertically on the left side of the screen.  You can always pop the tutorial open again by clicking on the tab.

Display Help Tab

Table of Contents Table of Contents: allows you to view the content of the tutorial and jump forward and backward in the material.


About 19th Century Masterfile

19th Century Masterfile
  • Makes searchable primarily English language periodicals, books, newspapers, government documents, and more, published from the 13th century through 1930. (Some foreign language materials are included.)
  • Covers the physical sciences, technology, law, humanities, literature and the social sciences.

19th Century Masterfile does not offer full-text.  It is a collection of indexes.  When you search, the database presents the results with links to external sources where you may access the full-text.  If no full-text is available, you may use our free inter-library loan services (ILL).


19th Century Masterfile Home Page

To the right, is the home page of 19th Century Masterfile.  It is divided into several parts. 

Search Scroll down in the search page to see all of these components:

  • Search 19th Century Masterfile - start searching right away with Keywords, the default search setting.  A link is provided for Advanced Search options.
  • Image Gallery - 19th Century Masterfile now includes the ARTstor Digital Library and the digitized American Memory Collection from the Library of Congress.  
  • Latest Research - research articles referencing documents from the collection written by Paratext staff.
  • New Interdisciplinary Discoveries - features documents of interest in the collection.


Keyword Searching

Keyword Search Screen

Searching with Keywords enables you to do the broadest possible search.

You can use * to search for multi-character variations on a term.  For example, searching femin* will retrieve feminine, feminist, feminism, feminisme, etc.

You can use ? to search for single-character endings on a term.  For example, searching feminist? will retrieve feminist and feminists.

Words such as "a", "an", and "the" are ignored, so do not enter these terms. 

The maximum number of records that will be retrieved in a search is 1000.


Results - Sources, Date Ranges & Subjects

Search Type femin* in the search box and click the search button.

On the left side of the results screen, you will see a breakdown of the results that may look something like this:

Results Description

Results are sorted by type of material.  The total of results for each source type appears beside it in parentheses.  Notice the links Hide and Show on the right of the title bars.  Click on these links to either view or close the information boxes.

By clicking on Show you can see the results divided by Date Ranges and Subjects.

Results by date range and subjects

Search Click on any Date Range set to access that segment of the results.  See how the results have changed.

Search Click on any hyper-linked term in the Subjects word cloud to create a new set of results.  

The size of the word represents how frequently it occurs in the search results - the bigger the word, the more frequently it appears in the results.

See how the number and type of results have changed as well as the Subjects word cloud.


Results - Full-text Access, Citations & Inter-library Loan Services

On the right side of the screen, the results are presented.  Each result includes a brief description of the item and a More linklink providing extended information.

Results may include one or a combination of any of these buttons that will take you to the full-text of the item:

  • ARTstor - this item is available in the ARTstor database.  Click the button to be taken into the ARTstor database to obtain the image.
  • LOC American Memory - this item is available through the digitized American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.  Click the button to be taken into the American Memory Collection to obtain the item.
  • Hathi Trust - this item is available in the Hathi Trust digital repository.  Click the button to be taken into the respository to retrieve this item.
  • Hofstra Find Article - this item is available in one of Hofstra's many subscription databases.  Click on the link to be taken to the database(s) where you may retrieve the item.
It is possible to see buttons to other sources as well.
Some results will only present the citation information for an item.  In this case, no full-text is available.  
Please use inter-library loan services (ILL) to request such materials. To use our free ILL services, follow this link:
Log into ILL using your my.hofstra.edu username and password.  Fill out the form and you are ready to request materials.

Advanced Searching - Source, Author, Title & Date

Search Scroll to the top of the search screen and click on the Advanced Search tab.

The Advanced Search allows you to enter keywords and then select any of the following from the pull-down menu to restrict to

  • Singular and plural forms of terms
  • Exact phrases
  • Exact words

Pull down the Source menu to see the list of resources to which you can restrict your search.

All Sources

You can use the Match options to couple the above choices with

(AND) all of the following
(OR) any of the following
in these fields:

  • Title
  • Author

Date range restrictions allow you to search a specific period of time.


Results List

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Look at the green bar that separates the search options from the results.  Several options are offered for managing your information.  

Sort Results Sort ResultsSearch Click on the link to see the variety of ways you can sort results.

Save Checked Items Save Checked Items: Check off the box in the upper right  Mark Record of any record to select that result and then click on Save Checked Items to save it to a short list you can later e-mail or download.  If you want to select all results at once, check off the box in the green bar to the right of the Export option.

Export Export: Click on this option to e-mail or download all items you have saved.


Results List

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Result Item

4. Shows how many pages of results are available.  Items are sorted by source, with the top results from each source at the top.

5. Ten items are listed on each result page.  You can click on groups of 10 to advance through the results.  Full-text results are at the top.


Results List

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Result Item

6. Provides the title of the item, year published, author's name, title of the publication, the volume/issue, year published, and page on which the text begins.

7. The database searches its sources and presents the relevant items in the results. This link enables you to see all the results that came from the same source as that particular item.


Results List

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Result Item

8. Full text link: If the item is available in full-text, there will be a button (or several) that will take you to the full-text.  If no full-text is available, use inter-library loan services (Text: 516.628.6473 for further instructions on using free inter-library loan services.)

Remember, full-text items appear at the top of each page.

9. This item is presented in full view with the author, publisher, etc., information clearly labeled.  If you click on - Less, the short presentation of the item will appear along with the + More link.  This short view is the default view of results.



19th Century Masterfile is a unique and invaluable source of primary materials.  Use this database to document historical practices and capture past events as they transpired.

Be sure to contact the reference desk at 516.463.5962 if you have any questions about accessing or searching this database.

Visit the library home page to access additional resources and research assistance: http://www.hofstra.edu/library/ .

Good luck & happy searching!


About ARTstor

The ARTstor database is a full-access image database available to you through the Hofstra University Libraries.  You may search the full database in 19th Century Masterfile, or go to the ARTstor database by following this link:



About the American Memory Collection

The American Memory Collection is a digitized repository of materials available at the Library of Congress. You can search this collection through 19th Century Masterfile, or go directly to the Library of Congress to search it by following this link:




Please send you comments and suggestions to: librfabs@hofstra.edu


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