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Journalism - Resources for Journalism Undergraduates

Search Tips for the Columbia Missourian Archives


The Missourian is currently being archived in a system called "MerlinOne" - not to be confused with the Merlin Library Catalog in use by the MU Libraries.

Login:  merlin   password:  missourian#1

What's in the archive and what isn't

The daily print version, including the Missourian Weekly, Adelante, MiniMo and special sections (such as Tiger Tipoff, Tiger Kickoff, Welcome Back) are in the archive. Also in the archive are online only stories that run on the web site. 

Vox Magazine switched to a new production system in 2004. It doesn't "talk" to the Missourian archiving system, so the latest issue of Vox that was archived was the September 2004 edition. The Vox Magazine web site at has a search box on the left-hand side right under "Inside Vox."

Basic Searching

Don't get too specific. Start out with one or two words and then add terms to limit the results if needed. For example, if you're looking for a person's name, just enter the last name unless it's a very common one. The reason for this is that if you enter a first name and middle initial, perhaps the story you're looking for didn't use the middle initial. The archive will look for everything you enter - if that middle initial isn't there, you won't find anything. MerlinOne assumes there is an "and" between two words, so you don't need to enter the word "and." (The Columbia Daily Tribune archive works just the opposite - for theirs, you DO need the "and" between each word. If you want to find two or more words together, enclose them in parentheses. Don't use articles such as "for," "the," etc.

Try different search terms if you don't find anything at first.

If you need help, please come by the library. We have the software version of MerlinOne which allows us to do more refined searching than the web version you are using allows.

Search by Date


The current version of our archiving system cannot display graphics, BUT, you can find out whether or not a graphic ran with a story and then look at the original in the bound volumes.

  • To do a search for graphics, go to the "Advanced search" page.
  • Uncheck the "search only lead paragraph" box.
  • When you do the search, type "graphic" into the search box, along with your additional search terms.
  • For example, if you want to find any graphics that ran with road improvement stories, a typical search might include the terms

roads improvements graphic

  • Be aware, though, that this will also pull up stories that mention the word "graphic," such as "in graphic detail."
  • To avoid this problem, you can come to the library, where we can do a search with the MerlinOne software. We can eliminate the stories that mention the word graphic in the text of the article. This capability is not available with the web version of MerlinOne.

Boolean Search Tips

In the Merlin archives the "and" is implied and you do not have to type it between the search terms. (It's the opposite in the Columbia Daily Tribune archives - you have to type "and" between each search term unless you are looking for a search string).

  • Use the word OR to search for articles containing either of two or more words, e.g. "Kennedy Space" OR Shuttle
  • Use the word AND to search for articles containing combinations of words, though WebMaster will insert AND automatically between words outside of quotes.
    • Group terms with AND and OR using parentheses, e.g.
      ("kennedy space" or shuttle) and astronaut**.
  • Add the word NOT after the first term to exclude some items e.g.
    kennedy not space
  • Search for all common variants of a word by ending it with two asterisks, e.g. swim** will find 'swam' and 'swimming'.
    • Use an asterisk to replace zero or more characters at the end or middle of a word to search, or a question mark to represent a single character, e.g. wine? finds wines, wined but not wine or winery.)
  • Use the word LIKE before a term to do a phonetic search, e.g.
    LIKE gustafsen
    to find items containing Gustavson, gustafson, gustafsen, gustavsen, etc.)
  • Use the word NEAR to find words within 5 words of each other, e.g.
    protest near encampment
    • Modify how close the words have to be next to one another by inserting a number after NEAR, e.g.
      protest near 10 encampment
      to search for them being within 10 words of each other)
    • Specify that the words have to be in a specific order using THEN, e.g.
      kennedy then space

Contact Us

Journalism Library

Email us at

Library: 573-882-7502

Vera Elwood
Head, Journalism Library
103A Reynolds Journalism Institute
Phone: 573-882-6591

Sandy Schiefer
Journalism Librarian
103B Reynolds Journalism Institute
Phone: 573-882-0660


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