Using Basic Search

Basic Search is a good starting point to quickly find files of interest.

It uses commands that are different than many operating systems and internet search engines.  Please read the following and note the known issues at the end of this article.

HINT: Click on the "Print" link above to open a text copy of this page in a new window for reference.  Then click on Basic Search to view the keyword entry box and try some searches.

To start a Basic Search:

  • Enter your keyword or keywords in the "Search" box at the top right corner of any Library page. 
  • or use the box found by selecting Search / Basic Search on the Menu Bar.
  • Click "Search."

Basic Search is handy for simple searches, such as "Princess," or "Design Line."

Keywords are matched to any word in the title and description.  These are added by TCI Library staff.  Basic Search does not search the contents of a file.

The keyword string including spaces between keywords is currently limited to 255 characters.

Each keyword must be two or more characters. One character keywords are ignored.

WARNING!  If Basic Search returns more than 1,000 documents that match your keywords, you are not seeing all the relevant documents in the Library. Use more keywords or Advanced Search to limit the number of matches. Your goal should be to craft a search that returns fewer than 50 results.


Other than search order, Basic Search defaults are: all categories, all words and both title and description.  All DOCman files, Articles and Weblinks are searched.

You have the option to refine the search on the Basic Search page or the Basic Search results pages. 


 Search Examples: (Keywords underlined for clarity.)

 Keyword: -000-000

  •  Find documents with "-000-000" -- which are index BSPs 

Keyword: index

  • Find documents with "index" in the title and/or description. 

Multiple Keywords: Bell System


 If you don't find the BSP or document you're looking for...

 ... try looking up a BSP number in one of the index documents and search for the full BSP number.  The titles and descriptions may not contain the search keywords you're using.

... try a different form of an abbreviation -- for example, WE, W.E. or WEco.

... try the Advanced or Google Searches.

Since this site is a work in progress, recommendations for additional keywords for any document are always welcome.

Please use the "Contact Us" link to send corrections, suggestions and additions. 


Known search issues

Searches may fail if strange characters are entered into the search box.
This can happen when using copy-and-paste to move text from an html email to the search box.  In some cases, the characters are not visible, so you won't know they're there!  If a search returns 0 results, try typing in the search string and restart the search.

New User?

Read the articles under "Introduction" in the black menu bar above.

Recent Contributors

Thanks for new documents from Jeff Lamb, Chuck Hensley, John Novack, Paul Fassbender, Clint Gilliland, Steve Cichorsky, John Gilbert, Chuck Batson, Alan David, Steve Flocke, Paul Wills, Dave Gruger, Jim Prather, John Stancliff and Sam Etler.

Please send a file to add your name to this list!

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Hints for using the TCI Library

"Menu Bar" for site navigation.
Many menu choices are hidden until you mouse over the menu.  If you want help getting started, see the links under the word "Introduction" in the Menu Bar.
The user interface is oriented toward the user’s choice to either Browse or Search for information.  The Browse the Library menu entry offers many quick links to move around the Library quickly.  Try it!

Three search options.
The Library’s keyword-based searches, called Basic Search and Advanced Search, accept keywords as short as 2 characters (WE, AE, etc.) and search strings up to 255 characters.  If you get more than 1,000 items, refine your search or try the Google Search option.
Library INBOX.
The INBOX may hold some files that have been submitted but not fully processed into the Library.  These are often topics of current discussion on the TCI Listserv.
Finding BSPs.
Many BSPs are currently only identified by BSP number. If a text search doesn’t produce a BSP, try looking in one of the many BSP index documents to find a BSP number for the product you are researching just as you would do if referencing a paper library of the BSPs. Then enter the BSP number in the search box.



Telephone Collectors International was incorporated under the laws of the state of Kansas on May 13, 1986. The goal of the organization is "to educate the public, as well as the members of the Corporation, regarding the history of telephony, the value of old telephones and related items, their collectability and preservation; to research telephone history and publish and provide literature thereon; to promote the public exhibition of old telephones and related items; and to promote common courtesies and guidelines for use by the public." Telephone Collectors International is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization, to which U.S. tax deductible contributions can be made.