Quick Guide to Searching the HPSCHD-L Archives

Adapted from a Similar Article by Elliott Parker
28 April 1996

All messages to HPSCHD-L are saved or "archived" in units called notebooks each month. Archives for the current year are in HPSCHD-L as shown in all the examples below. To access archives for a previous year (e.g., 1995) substitute HPSCHDyy (e.g., HPSCHD95) in all the examples shown below. (Note that the all the examples are based on the fact that the current year is 1996. If this be no longer the case, make the appropriate adjustments.)

To get a copy of all the messages during April 1996, for instance, you could send the Listserv command GET HPSCHD-L LOG9604 F=MAIL to listserv@list.uiowa.edu, but this will be a very large file, wasting network resources and some gateways might reject it as being too long. A more efficient method is to use the very powerful database searching function of LISTSERV to get only the messages you want.

NOTE: LISTSERV commands are always included in the body of e-mail, not the subject line (which is ignored) and always sent to the LISTSERV, never HPSCHD-L.

Although the search can be interactive if you are on Bitnet and running VM or VMS, this guide is for batch retrieval. Note that although you can subscribe to HPSCHD-L through any LISTSERV, search requests must be sent to the server machine listserv@list.uiowa.edu.

There are two steps to searching the archives. First put your search together and send it to listserv@list.uiowa.edu which will return as mail an index or list of the messages that meet your search criteria each with a unique item number. Using this item number, you then send another request for the specific messages you want. Both of these outputs will be preceded by a short note indicating how much of the LISTSERV resources you used.

This is a subtle way of indicating that, although you are not going to be billed by the LISTSERV site, in fact, there is a cost. If you have a very complicated search or one that extends over a large amount of material, consider doing it during non-business hours, since the LISTSERV host site will be busy during the day. It will be faster and more considerate of the host site resources.

For a "Table of Contents" of HPSCHD-L's postings for the current year the following can be used as a template and sent to listserv@list.uiowa.edu (again, not HPSCHD-L). The first line of the message will be "//" and the last line will be "/*."

Database search DD=rules Outlim=7500
//Rules DD *
Select * in HPSCHD-L
Index #.5r0 date.8 #recs.4r sender.10 subject.48

The "Outlim" parameter says to return no more than 7500 lines of information. The "Select" command will select all ("*") messages that have been sent to HPSCHD-L. The "Index" command then prepares a list of these messages, showing for each, the unique record number ("#"), the date sent, its length (in lines), who sent it, and the subject line. (The remaining details in the Index command are formatting information. "4r," for instance, means "four-character field, right-justified.")

The index you requested will be sent back to you as e-mail:

> Select * in HPSCHD-L
--> Database HPSCHD-L, 4291 hits.
> Index #.5r0 date.8 #recs.4r sender.10 subject.48
-     ----     ---- ------     -------
00001 96/01/01   31 T.C.M.Kluc+Re: String inharmonicity (long)
00002 96/01/01   28 twp@PANIX.+Re: String inharmonicity (long)
00003 96/01/02   15 kjacob@VNE+conclave flyer
00004 96/01/02   43 krogers@ES+Hide glue
00005 96/01/02   78 T.C.M.Kluc+Re: String inharmonicity (long)
00006 96/01/02   25 rjfeeser@M+Re: conclave flyer
00007 96/01/02   51 sethile@MS+Re: Hide glue
00008 96/01/02   35 rdaub@IX.N+Re: Hide glue
00009 96/01/02   12 rdaub@IX.N+Re: peau stop
00010 96/01/03   84 SBIRKETT@E+String inharmonicity
      etc. etc. etc.
04284 96/10/21   27 kjacob@vne+Re: Chinese harpsichordist
04285 96/10/21   12 sqf4696@is+Sheridan Germann's article ...
04286 96/10/21   18 pickett@bl+Mietke Harpsichord
04287 96/10/21   45 kjacob@vne+Francais Lexicon additions
04288 96/10/21   36 PMASSER@gb+"Smaller" Harpsichords -Reply
04289 96/10/21   12 PMASSER@gb+Leonhardt/Bo:hm -Reply
04290 96/10/21   36 ms@gf.org  Multae floreant linguae
04291 96/10/21   14 jbt@digico+Orfeo of Monteverdi

The "+" at the end of the "sender" field indicates that the field was too short to contain the entire sender address.

Perhaps you remember there was some discussion in April or May 1996 concerning Couperin's toccatas and you to see what was said. The next template will search the database for all messages that include both "Couperin" and "toccata" that were posted during April-May 1996:

Database search DD=rules Outlim=5000
//Rules DD *
Select couperin and toccata in HPSCHD-L from 4/96 to 5/96

"or" and "not" can be used with, or in place of, "and" to construct more refined searches.

From this request you will get back the following index (we're using default index formatting this time):

> Select couperin and toccata in HPSCHD-L from 4/96 to 5/96
--> Database HPSCHD-L, 6 hits.
> index
Item #   Date   Time  Recs   Subject
------   ----   ----  ----   -------
001539 96/04/01 01:08  105   Re: Practical Tuning accuracy
001893 96/04/14 14:55   37   Re: your mail
002257 96/04/30 20:50   30   Concert in San Rafael, CA
002274 96/05/03 08:55   38   Leonhardt concert
002337 96/05/07 13:25   33   Loring recital in San Rafael
002342 96/05/07 13:09   24   Leroux (was: Loring recital in San Rafael)

This shows the item number, the date and time it was sent, the number of lines (recs) in the message, and the subject line. If you think items 2257, 2274 and 2337 are what you want, send a second batch of commands to listserv@list.uiowa.edu:

Database search DD=Rules
//Rules DD *
Select * in HPSCHD-L
Print all of 2257 2274 2337

You will get back the resources-used message and mail containing the three messages.

(If you need to specify a range of items, you can use the syntax "first-last," e.g., 2257-2259, instead.)

If you subscribe to the list using the INDEX option ("SET HPSCHD-L INDEX"), this is the method you should use or retrieving selected messages shown in the index you receive daily. In fact, the index you receive for, say, 3/1/96 is just the one that would have been assembled for you had you sent the command "Select * in hpschd-l from 960301 to 960301."

If you do much searching, it is convenient to keep these batch search files as templates or macros which can just be called in to the e-mail after changing the search terms.

This note is intended only as a quick guide to searching HPSCHD-L. It will get most subscribers what they want. However, very complicated, Boolean searches can be performed, if desired. For a complete description and extended treatment, send the command GET LISTDB MEMO F=MAIL to your nearest LISTSERV (*not* to HPSCHD-L). This runs about 2200 lines.

A list dedicated to LISTSERV search techniques is called LDBASE-L and discusses the finer points of archive searching--the notebook archives exist. Send standard Listserv subscription commands to listserv@list.uiowa.edu.

These technique with appropriate changes in the list name and search strings will work with any Revised LISTSERV (other things are called listserv, but operate differently).

Last modified April 9, 2009.