Tips on Searching the Exploding The Phone Bibliographic Database

What's in the database?

Roughly 1,000 records of documents related to phone phreaking history. It includes newspaper and magazine articles, letters, memos, FBI files, audio recordings, you name it.

Do you have full text or scans for these documents?

For some, but not for all. In some cases, I don't have the actual document, only the reference to it. In other cases, copyright, privacy, or licensing considerations prevent me from posting a scan of the document.

What's not in your database?

Interviews with people for the book -- this includes interview notes, transcripts, and audio. This is both for privacy reasons (if you've ever done an interview with me, you know they run long and sometimes wander into, um, not so relevant territory) and also because editing out the irrelevant portions of interviews would have been burdensome.

Any tips on searching your database?

First, records are made up of fields. By default, if you just type something in to the search box, all fields get searched. But if you want to search only a particular field, you can do that with a query like:

pubname="New York Times"

The field names are:

Not all fields are populated for all records.

You can combine queries with booleans, like:

pubname="wall street" and title=blue

If you're searching for somebody's name, you're probably better off searching only by last name. For example, you'll do better with "Engressia" than "Joe Engressia" because he may be listed in various documents as "Josef Engresisa" or "Josef Carl Engressia".

For more info on the search syntax, please see the swish-e documentation.

I have a question not answered here, how can I contact you?

Please see my contact page.

I would like to thank Mio Cohen for her help in designing the database and for her tireless work in populating it. If it weren't for her, the database simply wouldn't exist. Thanks, too, to Jordan Hayes for introducing me to the swish-e indexing system that powers the search functionality.