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How To Search

This search function offers these two options: A Categorized Topic Search of the 28 Topic Categories created by Paul Brunton & a Keyword(s) Search.

The Categorized Topic Search Function

The 28 categories were created by Paul Brunton as a way of classifying his philosophic writing. When you click "Categorized Topic Search," you will see that there are two lists of categories-click either PB's original ("Old") category structure (it contains the most results) or his revised ("New") categories created near the end of his life. *

To read all the entries that PB placed in a given category, search both the Old Category and its New Category equivalents. When you select a category, for instance, "The Old xviii: The God Within" in the Old Category list, the top of the results page will also point you to the corresponding New Category (in this case, New XXV: World-Mind in Individual Mind) where additional material can be found on that topic.

Now you will see a list of all the files listed in alphabetical order that contain the topic that interests you. Under each file name (the first one in this example is: Carbons 01 (1979)), you will see the page number and number of pages in this category to be found in the text searchable version of this file.

(Generally, there are two versions of each file. The "Original Document" file displays a scan of the original papers (hand-written and/or typed) that are available to study at the Cornell University Kroch Library. The "Text Searchable Version" was created by the PBPF primarily for the purpose of searching the Archives and will be the one that you should first choose to find the search results.)

Opening the Carbons 01 text searchable version, page 57 is indicated as the first of the 3 pages of material on the topic. If you don't find the category name (The God Within) on page 57, please check the next couple of pages to find it. Alternatively, you can check the linked table of contents at the beginning of each file as an easy way to look for the desired search topic and click directly to it (in this example, you will see "The God Within" and can click to page 59 where it actually begins).

Additionally, the original document page numbers are indicated in the text searchable version-both in the right-hand margin under the roman numeral for the category (in this case XVIII and the original document page number is 127) and on the left side (at the beginning of each entry) where you see (127-1), (127-2), etc. The sequential numbers indicate the order of the entries on the original document file page.

Having the original document file gives you the option to check PB's scanned original papers and compare them to the digitized (text) files that were created by the PBPF to make these searches possible.

The Keyword(s) Search Function

To help you understand how this Keyword(s) search function works, we will give you three examples that demonstrate variations to consider. First search the word Overself. You will see that there are 94 files that contain this word-most are contained in "The Writings of Paul Brunton" files, but there are also results in other areas of the archives. If you only want to explore the "Writings" files, click on that option. The 79 "Writings" files are ordered according to their relevance, i.e., the top file has the most references to the search word Overself. That is the default ordering, but if you wish, you can also order the results alphabetically. This can be helpful, for example, when looking through a list of photos in "Visual Media."

The first file listed is "Collected Writings 1 (1930-1960)." Click the file name, and then the "Text Searchable Version." Now you need to search the word Overself again to find its many occurrences in this file. The document search function will likely be either at the top or bottom of the screen, depending on your browser. There are 67 occurrences of Overself in this file and you can scroll through them using the up and down arrows.

If you want to view a result in the Original Document file, the left margin of the Text Searchable Version contains its Original Document page number. For the example above, there is a reference to Overself on page 127-1 of the Original Document.

As a second example of a search, we will find the files in the Archives containing "World-Mind." In this example, using quotation marks in the Keyword(s) field is important. If you search for World-Mind without the quotation marks, the resultant 122 files will include instances of world by itself and also mind by itself-and some files may not contain any instances of World-Mind! Searching "World-Mind" with quotation marks will display only the 42 files relevant to this search.

The first file in the list containing our search words is: Carbons 07 (9th and 10th Series). Click on this and then on the Text Searchable Version of the file to display the document containing the search words. Now search the file as before using the document search function. If you search on World-Mind (with the hyphen) you will see 42 results. However, if you search on World Mind (without the hyphen), there are zero results-the punctuation is essential in this case. We have found that some Text Searchable files do contain World Mind without the hyphen. If you want to be thorough, search with and without the hyphen. The document search function finds only exact matches.

As a third and more complex example of a Keyword(s) search, we will look for references to Carl Jung. The relevance and number of results will vary according to the Keyword(s) search words and quotation marks. In this example, it matters whether we search for: Jung, Carl Jung, "Carl Jung," or "Carl Gustav Jung." Carl Jung also finds instances of Carlyle and jungle! On the other hand, if PB only uses the word Jung to refer to him, searching for "Carl Jung," (in quotes) will not find that result.

The spelling of proper names has been standardized to a large extent in the Text Searchable Version of the files. However, it is worth noting that there are some cases where two versions are common for a name, such as Rudolph Steiner and Rudolf Steiner.

*The Notebooks of Paul Brunton in sixteen volumes contain a large portion of the PB Archives' philosophic writing reorganized into the new category system. In The Notebooks, there are further divisions of each category into chapters and subsections created by the editors that PB trained at the end of his life. Reviewing The Notebooks' structure is a helpful way to understand the breadth and depth of each of PB's categories in the Archives.