The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Folger Tooltips: Hamnet access to e-books, part one

Greetings Dear Readers!

Today’s tooltip introduces new e-book resources we are in the process of rolling out through Hamnet, including:

This post will provide details about how to identify e-book records when you run across them, and how to exclude such records from your searches for vault materials. Future posts will provide more detail about these e-book resources and how you might best make use of them in your on-site research here at the Folger. 1 

How to locate or identify a Hamnet record for an e-book:

Records for e-books in Hamnet are typically supplied to us by vendors. That is, these descriptions were not prepared for you by Folger catalogers. But we’re taking steps to ensure that the records you see in Hamnet for e-books have the following common properties:

  • A Material type (GMD) of “[electronic resource]” that appears just after the first part of the title and before any subtitle or other information. For example:

Hamnet electronic resource gmd screenshot

  • One or more Locations of “Electronic Resource”
  • Call Numbers that typically read “For access, follow the Linked Resources hyperlink”
  • Linked Resources lines with a hyperlinked phrase describing the e-resource in brief
  • A URL for Linked Resources providing the raw hyperlink in copy-and-paste-able text.  For example:

Hamnet linked resources screenshot

How to exclude e-books from your Hamnet search results:

It is our expectation — and early results seem to be bearing this out — that including links to e-books will result in far more use of these subscription resources than we have seen in the past, as Readers working book-in-hand at the Folger with our own vault collections can now conduct easy and integrated research into online surrogates, copies for close comparison, and a wealth of bibliographical detail about available reproductions and transcriptions. This kind of hybrid research with rare printed books alongside online facsimiles is of course becoming not just commonplace, but quite necessary.

But there will be days when you really just want to get your hands on one of our rare books! So here are a couple of tips to search for items in the Folger vaults … and only those; or to search for early printed books … and only early printed books:

  • A Limit by Location. A page describing how to do this is available online at Limiting a Search in Hamnet. 5 Using the set limits function, you can select single (or multiple, by holding down the Ctrl key) locations where rare collection materials are housed, including: Deck B-Art Vault, Deck B-STC Vault, Deck C-Vault. Once you’ve set limits appropriately, you can proceed with your search, which should retrieve only records describing rare collection materials.
  • An Advanced Search that excludes items of certain Material Types. In other words, create a boolean keyword search by combining target information (e.g., “Pliny the elder” as an phrase under Name) and the “not” option (e.g., not “electronic resource” as a phrase under Material Type (GMD)). Here’s how that would look:

Hamnet advanced search using not - screenshot

Future posts will provide additional details about the e-book packages we currently provide access to. Meanwhile, questions and comments as usual can always be directed to, or dropped into the comments below.


  1. As with all Folger subscription resources, these are currently only available to onsite Readers working in Folger Reading Rooms or other properties; we hope to have remote proxy access available to many of our journal subscription and subscription databases later this calendar year.
  2. Note that in cases where we own a physical copy shelved in Open Stacks, two records will appear in Hamnet: one for the physical copy, and one for the e-copy.
  3. As we begin loading records for the EEBO Wing and Thomason Tract collections you’ll see microfilm holdings for those titles described on electronic resource records as well rather than on records for Folger vault copies. And of course, the Folger continues to work on digitizing its own collections; we will continue to link to our own digital and microfilm surrogates from records describing our own source items. See for instance this record for a microfilmed, and also recently-digitized, bound manuscript: V.a.321, Letterbook, ca. 1582-ca. 1615 [manuscript], ca. 1615.
  4. You’ll begin to see more records like this in the coming weeks, linking to both page images and full-text as available.
  5. Note that this won’t work in all cases: can’t limit a browse search, for instance, or name or call no. searches. But any search type on the Hamnet Basic Search page with an asterisk is eligible, as well as any search on the Hamnet Advanced Search page.

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