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LIBRAL help

The Library items are hosted on TannerRitchie Publishing’s MEMSOshell platform, which provides direct text search across the whole library and other functions including a hierarchical catalogue. Please note that the MEMSOshell platform does not work with Internet Explorer: use another browser such as Safari, Firefox or Chrome. The LIBRAL Gateway, which is complementary to the finding aids provided by the MEMSOshell platform, is simply a set of pages within the BAHS website.

If you already have a LIBRAL account, log on to it now. Once past the log in dialogue you will see the LIBRAL Welcome page. If you can, arrange your Internet browser so that you can see both windows.

Sign up for LIBRAL  Log on to your LIBRAL account

Now you are logged on, you can use either the LIBRAL Gateway or LIBRAL’s Search or Catalogue to find items and display them in the LIBRAL Browser. If you don't read any further, but just want to explore, make sure you try clicking the Acrobat icon in the icon bar of the item window in the LIBRAL Browser. This downloads the PDF of the item into a new window or tab of your Internet Browser.

Using the LIBRAL Gateway

LIBRAL has a hierarchical catalogue, but the LIBRAL Gateway provides a more flexible entry point to the Library. The navigation bar on the left of this window provides links to lists of library items organised in different ways. All the lists use the same format and provide the same facilities; only the contents differ:

Filtering lists in the LIBRAL Gateway

Filtering allows you to narrow down the list and is useful if you are interested in finding works by a specific author, or you know the title. You can also filter on words in the description, but because not all works have a description, this also includes the title. You can filter the list by a range of publication dates, or by theme, farming practice, region, or county. You can only filter on one characteristic at a time; to restore the complete list, click Show all titles. Filtering is not the same as searching, which operates on the complete text of the work and can result in a large number of hits. LIBRAL has a powerful search that which can operate either across the whole library or a single work.

[This is just an image – to try it out, select one of the lists in the left-hand navigation bar]

Sorting lists in the LIBRAL Gateway

The list (or filtered list) can be sorted: click on the appropriate button, and click again to reverse the sort order. (Note that the ID is purely for administrative purposes, but sorting on it does sort the list roughly into the order in which items have been added to LIBRAL.)

Opening items from the LIBRAL Gateway

Each item in a list has a button that takes you to the Top of the page; a thumbnail that also serves as a link to the item in the Library; meta-information about it; and a View button that also links to the item in the Library.

[This is just an image]


If you have already logged on to LIBRAL, clicking on thumbnails or View buttons in the LIBRAL Gateway opens items in the LIBRAL Browser. Otherwise, clicking takes you to the LIBRAL logon dialogue, and once you have logged on, to the LIBRAL Welcome page.

LIBRAL Welcome page

The LIBRAL Gateway is complementary to the finding aids provided within LIBRAL itself, which include powerful text search and a hierarchical table of contents. On the Welcome page you’ll also see a list of Recently Uploaded items, but be aware that this list might include items that we have had to re-upload for some reason; or that have just been uploaded and not yet processed.

Using LIBRAL Search

The Library has a full-text search facility. Bear in mind that, ultimately, Search depends on OCR (optical character recognition), the accuracy of which can be impacted by poor print quality and old-fashioned fonts, and so probably won’t find 100% of the instances of some search strings. You can search the whole library or individual items.

Hits are listed 100 to a page in the LIBRAL Browser. Below each title you will see three icons:
From left to right, clicking on the book icon will open the item at the exact page in the LIBRAL Browser window; clicking on the Acrobat icon will open the whole item as a PDF in a new window in your Internet browser; and hovering over or clicking on the list icon will show you the meta-information for the item.

If you’ve been playing around with search in the LIBRAL Browser window, click START OVER. This takes you to the LIBRAL Welcome page.

Using the LIBRAL Catalogue

On the right under BROWSE CATALOGUE you see the Categories, which are hierarchical. If a category has a tiny arrow beside it you can open it up and find the sub-categories inside. When you click on the name of a category, the items within are listed below, under ITEMS SELECTED. To open an item, click on its title.

Using the LIBRAL Browser

You can do most things from the LIBRAL Browser window; the only thing that’s not there is the list of recently added items. START OVER is a useful button, as it removes everything from the Browser window, which can get cluttered when you’ve opened multiple items.



Whenever you display an item in the LIBRAL Browser, you will be looking at a low-resolution image of it. Some of these images are more readable than others, but you can go straight from this interface to opening the PDF: look for the Acrobat icon in the icon bar above the image. Clicking on the Acrobat icon will open the whole item as a PDF in a new window in your Internet browser.

Before you do that, look at what else you can do from the LIBRAL Browser.



From left to right, step forwards and back through the page images or go to a specific page; step through recently viewed pages; zoom in and out; rotate the page by 90 degrees; and save the item to your bookshelf (at the currently displayed page). Although there is a printer icon, it’s better to print using Acrobat’s print facility. Finally there is a link icon, which takes you to the ‘permanent web link’. Be aware that this might change if we find a problem with the item and have to re-load it. Over on the right, search within the current item.

You can move this window around within the workspace, and you can have more than one item open at a time. Meta-information about the selected item is always shown in the top-left-hand corner of the workspace.

When your workspace gets too cluttered, click START OVER. This takes you to the LIBRAL main page.