WordWalker (demo) Help About
WordWalker lets you browse the Harvard Library collection of books and other items — over 12.7 million of 'em — by selecting a set of words used in any item's title, subjects, author, table of contents, or abstract.
Begin by using the search box to find an initial set of works. Then click on any of the results. That will show you the words in that work's record.
The bold-faced words are the ones you can search on. (The other so-called "stop words" are too common. Do you really want to do a search on "and"? Sorry, you can't.) Click on any you would like to search on. You can choose up to ten. You can list the same word more than once, for a reason we're about to explain...
When you click the "Look 'em up" button, wordWalker will do a keyword search of the entire Harvard Library collection, typically fetching ten results for each of the words you've listed. Before showing you those results, wordWalker goes through then to find the ten works that have the highest number of occurrences of each of the words you've listed in their title, subjects, and abstract. So, if you listed "diamonds," "sky" and "lucy," a book about "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is more likely to make it into the ten results than a book about diamonds, a book about skies, or a book about sky diamonds (whatever they may be). This is especially true if you listed "lucy" four or five times. It gives special weight to works retrieved under one search term (say, "diamonds") if the other search terms are used in it. Finally, it gives each use of a search term a weight based on its frequency divided by the total number of words in a work's metadata.
Note that this is a demo and a prototype and an exploration of an idea. Plus, it was written by an amateur, so don't expect too much of it.

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