HeinOnline's Tip of the Week: Searching for a Presidential Proclamation

Are you looking for a presidential proclamation and don't know where to start? If so, we suggest starting your research in the U.S. Presidential Library in HeinOnline. The Presidential Library contains the Public Papers of the Presidents, CFR Title 3, and the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, which are all very useful resources when looking for a presidential proclamation. Click here for more details about these sets. The following tip illustrates how to conduct a search for a presidential proclamation using the Field and Advanced search options within this library.

It's important to start out this tip with an explanation of the indexing in the three different sets mentioned above, as this impacts how we will build our search. The CFR Title 3 and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents sets are not indexed to specific section levels, therefore full-text searching is required when searching across these titles. The Public Papers of the President, however, are indexed to the section level, thus allowing us to search across the section date, section title, section author, and/or full-text fields.

For our examples, we want to find "Proclamation 5142-To Amend Proclamation 5133 Implementing the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act".

Field Search:
To locate this proclamation using a field search, we will follow these steps:

1. To search across the Public Papers of the Presidents, we will need to search in the Title field because the proclamation numbers are indexed in the Section Title of each document. Therefore, insert "proclamation 5142" into the first search box, click Phrase, and select Section Title from the drop-down menu.

2. Now, to include the other two sets, CFR Title 3 and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, in our search, we will need to add a second string to our search query to search across the text field. We will construct our search to look for "proclamation 5142" in the Title field OR in the Text field. To do this, select OR from the drop-down menu preceding the second search box. Then, insert "proclamation 5142" into the second search box, click on Phrase, and select Text from the drop-down menu.

3. Now, highlight the three set names from the title listing; CFR Title 3, Public Papers of the Presidents (listed as Pub. Papers), and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (listed as Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs.).

4. Leave the remaining options as is and click search.

This search will return 8 results, with at least one hit occurring in each of the three sets.

Advanced Search:
We will use the same example above, but construct the search in the Advanced Search option.

1. Enter the following syntax into the search box:
title:"proclamation 5142" OR text:"proclamation 5142"

2. Highlight the names of the three sets from the title listing.

3. Leave the remaining search options as is and click search.

This will generate the same search results as those from the Field Search.

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