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The Real Estate Record: Search Help

The Real Estate Record supports simple and complex searching. At the top of each page, a simplified search box allows for searching by terms in the collection, as well as Boolean operators. Advanced search provides more powerful limits and combinations.

Basic Searching

Boolean Operators

Using AND, OR, and NOT to refine your search

The operator AND narrows your search by instructing the search engine to search only for records containing all the terms in your search. You do not have to type in the word AND; by default all terms entered into the search box become Boolean AND searches. However, you can adjust your search by doing an OR search (broadens the search to include records containing any or all of the terms) or a NOT search (narrows your search by excluding unwanted terms). You do not have to enter the Boolean operators in capitals. To search for an exact phrase put quotation marks around your search terms.


  • wyckoff park
    Searches for the word "wyckoff" and the word "park" in all fields
  • wyckoff AND park
    Searches for the word "wyckoff" and the word "park" in all fields. Equivalent to wyckoff park.
  • bedford OR cortelyou
    Searches for either "bedford" OR "cortelyou," or both, in all fields.
  • bedford NOT cortelyou
    Searches for the word "bedford" AND NOT the word "cortelyou" in all fields.
  • "long island"
    Search for the exact phrase "long island" in all fields.


You can use the asterisk (*) symbol as a wildcard to substitute for one or more characters at the end of a word. Note that this symbol cannot be used at the beginning of a word. For example, wood* will find terms such as "Woodlawn," "Woodruff," "Woodside," and "Woodmere."


Keyword searches are based on the text found on each page, which is a result of optical character recognition (OCR) scanning. Additionally, the Real Estate Record text uses a variety of abbreviations to express its addresses. You may wish to try a combination of abbreviations and wildcard searching to find your building information.


  • wyckoff st*
    Searches for wyckoff st, wyckoff st., wyckoff str., and wyckoff street
  • b*way
    Searches for bway, b'way, and broadway

Please note: whenever possible, this search engine uses abbreviations from the U.S. Postal Service as a "dictionary" for your searches. Searching for street, for example, will also search for the common abbreviations "st" and "str." For more information about the U.S. Postal Service's abbreviations, view Official USPS Abbreviations.

Punctuation and Spaces

When performing a search, punctuation is NOT needed; punctuation such as a period (.), comma (,), dash (-), or apostrophe (') will act as spaces in a search. Quotes around a phrase searches for an exact phrase (see Boolean Operators above). However, spaces are important! Be sure to preserve spaces in your search.


  • cady jc
    Searches for the words "cady" and "jc" separated by one space.
  • cady j.c.
    Equivalent to the search cady "j c"

Advanced Searching

Advanced Fields and the "Limit Search to:" option

Perform an advanced fields search by selecting "Advanced Search >" on the home page, or by selecting "Advanced Search" from the "Search" drop-down menu. You can combine fields and choose the number of results and sort order, as well as search for call number.


  • Section and pages: search for your terms within a given number of pages from a section. A search for zero (0) pages following a specific section means to find your term on the section page itself. Note: you must also place a term in the search box in order to use this feature.
  • Date: search for pages within a range of years. Year formats must be YYYY (example: 1901).
  • Volume: search for individual volumes or use CTRL-click or CMD-click to select multiple volumes. You can combine this search with a keyword and/or a date search.

Limit Results

On the right-hand side of your search results screen, under the heading "Limit Results," you will see a detailed overviews about your search results organized by issue, volume, and date. You can use this section to browse links in a particular category or select a link to refine your search results.

For example, an advanced search for "battery park" within 5 pages following the section mortgages returns a search results page with 95 hits. From that search results page, under Limit Results you can narrow your results to only items from 1871-1880, or only those in Volume 65, etc..

About OCR text

Please note that the accuracy of full text search results may vary. Full text searching is enabled through the OCR (optical character recognition) process. The results of this process depend on the characteristics of the original documents, for example the font and paper quality.