Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature (ACLL-1)

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: ACLL-1
  2. Getting Started
  3. Search Preliminaries
  4. Complex Searching
  5. Using the ACLL-1 Word Index
  6. Searching the Entire Database
  7. Searching using the Filters

Introduction: ACLL-1
(also see: Archive of Celtic-Latin Literature--an Overview)
The Royal Irish Academy, in its efforts to produce a definitive Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources, has worked to establish an electronic database containing the whole of Celtic-Latin literature from the period 400-1200 A.D.--a body of over 1300 texts, ranging from mere fragments to learned treatises hundreds of pages long. Recognizing, moreover, that these texts neatly complement the largely Continental canon of Brepols' Cetedoc Library of Christian Latin Texts (CLCLT-2), the two have joined forces to present them using Cetedoc's own operating system. Researchers familiar with one will have no difficulty making use of the other. The ACLL-1 DOS interface allows users to perform complex searches on all texts contained in the library, and the results can be downloaded to diskette or printer for later use.

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Getting Started

To access the Archive from a LETRS PC, scroll down the main menu to the Electronic Texts heading and choose ACLL from the menu. ACLL-1 provides help screens in 4 languages (English, French, German, and Italian), and you must select one before the program will load. At this point, the main search screen will appear. Despite its stark look, the main menu is easy to navigate. All program functions are controlled by the function keys and are labeled at the top of the screen (more on these as we go along). Below the listing of menu functions are the filter fields (Auctor, Titulus operis, L & S, Aetas, Formae). These are the fields in which you enter the data that will allow you conduct searches on authors and works. First, let's have a look at the Formae field and how to "ask" ACLL-1 to find what you are looking for in a text.

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Searching Preliminaries

Search options for ACLL-1 are rather complex, and take some getting used to. Here are the search characters you will need to know:
    a blank space
    between words
    indicates that you want to find those words in that order
    + (and)
    , (or)
    # (not)
    * (a number of unknown characters)
    ? (one unknown character)
    / (specifies the proximity of two forms)
    % (specifies order as well as proximity)
    ( ) (separators)
You can use these codes to ask ACLL-1 to find the specific words and phrases that interest you in any work. Here are some sample search expressions using the characters listed above:
    gloria + excelsis
    finds sentences containing these two words.

    gloria excelsis [ gloria in excelsis, to be precise]
    finds words in the order given.

    gloria, excelsis
    finds gloria, excelsis, or both.

    gloria # excelsis
    finds gloria but not excelsis.

    prae* finds forms beginning with prae-.
    *atr* finds forms containing -atr-.
    *ibus finds forms ending with -ibus.

    *\t , *\c , *\g , *\r , or *\h
    finds Teutonic (including Old English), Celtic, Greek, Romance, or Hebrew forms, respectively.

    dic?mus finds dicamus, dicimus, dicemus, etc.
    A?mitt* finds words beginning with a- followed by another character, -mitt- and a series of unknown characters.
    a?nun?i* finds words beginning with a- followed by another character, -nun-, another character, -i-, and a series of characters thereafter. This would return forms of the verb annuntiare whether assimilated or not (ann- vs. adn-), assibilated or not (-nunci- vs. -nuncti-).
N.B. As spelling variations are innumerable and difficult to anticipate, such wildcards can play a key role in successful searching.

    beati /2 misericordes finds beati and misericordes, or vice-versa, with a maximum of two words between them.

    beati %2 misericordes as above, but finds beati and misericordes in the order given.

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Complex searches

You can create complex and accurate searches using parentheses as separators, especially when you are using more than two Boolean [and, or, not] codes. Your imagination is pretty much the limit.

(spe? , fid??) + carita* # (cor, cord*), for example, would ask ACLL-1 to find sentences containing forms of spes or fides, in addition to caritas--as long as the last is not found in the vicinity of some form of cor.

N.B. Do not place the % and / characters next to parentheses. The following search will fail:
    (carnaliter, corporaliter) /3 spiritaliter
Instead, form your search this way:
    (carnaliter /3 spiraliter), (corporaliter /3 spiritaliter).
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Using the ACLL-1 Word Index

Now that you are familiar with the ACLL-1 search language, what about words? You will often know what word(s) or phrases you are looking for. You will type them in to the Formae field and begin your search. But what if you are uncertain about the spelling of a word, or are trying to recall that elusive grammatical form? Use the ACLL-1 index. The index provides a comprehensive listing of every word form found in the ACLL-1 library. To access the index from the main search screen, hit the Page Down key until the Formae field is highlighted, then press the F2 (browse) key to access the index. Scroll through the list using the arrow, Page Up, Page Down, home, or End keys. You can also type the first few letters of the word you are looking for to scroll directly to the various forms of that word.

Once you have found a form you wish to use, make sure it is highlighted and press the Enter key to send it to the Formae field. Repeat this process to choose additional words. These will appear in the Formae field in the form x,y (where `x' is the first word and `y' the next; remember `,' means "or").

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Searching the Entire Database

Having identified various search options, and become familiar with the Index, let's now move to the search itself. If, for example, you wanted to trace the development and use of the word sermo through different historical periods, you could search the entire library of the ACLL-1 database. Here's how:

Use the Page Down key to move through the search filters until you reach the Formae field. Type sermo* in the Formae field or use the index to find all its forms.

Press Enter to begin searching. ACLL-1 will indicate the number of sentences (sententiae) in which your search string appears at the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Press F3 to display the sentences. To browse through the display use the arrow, Page Up, Page Down, Home or End keys. You can also jump to any citation by pressing F8 and indicating a sentence number. If you wish to see the entire text of an individual selection, scroll the selection to the top of the screen and press Enter.

If you like what you see, you can copy your search criteria, as well as all search results, to a disk for further use. Press F5 while in the sententiae display screen to save search results.

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Searching using the filters:

Searching levels of the ACLL-1 library with the Auctor, Titulus, L & S, and Aetas filters is just as easy. Before entering a search query in the Formae field, simply choose an author, work, L & S number, or collection to search.

Use the Page Up and Page Down keys to scroll through the filters. When you start to look for an author or a work, you can of course type the information directly into the appropriate filter. But, as ACLL-1 works with Latin names and titles, it is often best to browse the Indices of each field. To do this, scroll to the desired field and press F2 (Browse). A small options menu will appear; choose Entry (Formae excepted, it's easier to browse the contents lists this way). You will then see a list of all the ACLL-1 entries for that field. Highlight an item and press Enter to send it to the appropriate field; repeat as many times as necessary. The Esc key will clear the field if you make a mistake. Press Enter when you have finished. ACLL-1 will display a screen listing all the chosen items marked with a check mark. You can use the Space-Bar to deselect/reselect any item if necessary. Confirm the list by pressing Enter. Then, type your search in the Formae field and you're off. Here's a summary of what you can use the 4 categories for:

Auctor and Titulus: Use these fields when you want to search the corpus for either specific author(s) (Auctor) or title(s) (Titulis).

L & S: Use this field if you know the specific Lapidge and Sharpe code for an individual work you want to search. As each entry is prefixed according to geographical region, you can limit your search to texts from Roman Britain (A*), Ireland (B*), the Hiberno-Latin continent (C*), Brittany (D*), or Scotland (E*).

Aetas: Use this field to limit your search either to patristic or medieval authors (Aetas patristica and Aetas mediaeualis).

N.B. While the number of passages containing your search string is displayed in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, the number found in a particular filter will appear to that filter's immediate right.

Additional Help

For more information about using ACLL-1, please contact a LETRS consultant.

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Last Updated: 09/17/96
Comments: Library Electronic Text Resource Service /
Indiana University