Internet Archive Search Tips

Return to main search tools page

The Medical Heritage Library is a part of the Internet Archive. While you can search the entire Internet Archive and still find our materials, the MHL’s search page within Internet Archive allows for a more refined way of searching and browsing the quality historical medical content that we’ve tagged and processed.

NOTE: As you search and browse, the color of the navigation bars and display frames might change if an item is cross-listed with another collection. If at any point you want to return to the MHL’s search page within Internet Archive, click on any item in your search result list. When viewing the catalog entry, click the Medical Heritage Library icon in the top right of the screen, if it appears. If you instead see an icon for a different library, you may still return the the MHL search page by clicking the “medicalheritagelibrary” link after the heading “Collection” in the item description. See image below.

Click to return to the MHL search page when searching:


Search MHL

  1. In the search box on the MHL search page, begin by entering a keyword, author or title.
  2. You may sort results or refine your search in a variety of ways, including by media type or collection, by clicking one of the links in the boxes running down the right-hand side.
  3. You may also click “Advanced Search”, a link that appears in the top right corner of your search results page after you do an initial search from the main MHL search page. In Advanced Search, you can restrict words so they only search the title, author, etc. Be sure to select “medicalheritagelibary” as the Collection in the drop menu if you don’t want to search the whole Internet Archive. You only need to complete one of the boxes on the Advance Search page. Scroll down on the Advance Search page to read more detailed search advice.


  1. From the MHL search page, click “Browse by Subject/Keyword” to view an alphabetized list of subject keywords.
  2. This list of subject keywords changes regularly as new volumes are added to the collection. It is worth regularly revisiting this page to see what we’ve added.
  3. You can narrow or change your browse by clicking additional subject keywords listed after each title.


  1. From the MHL search page, click “Browse Collection” to begin browsing entries comprising the MHL collection. The default setting will sort by Average Rating (from users).
  2. Once you are in the Browse Collection page, you may sort your results in a different way (including date or media type) by clicking one of the links in the boxes on the right.
  3. To browse more items on a similar topic, click on a keyword within an individual entry.

Additional Search Tips

  • The Search Engine does not allow you to substitute a common Roman character for a foreign character. For example, you cannot replace “Rüff” with “Ruff” when searching — it would not find the author. Always search with the exact spelling of a foreign word. If you get no results when searching by author, you should then try searching by title.
  • Some names are spelled multiple ways. Try different spelling variants to increase possible search results.
  • The “Browse by Date” link, which appears on the MHL search page, attempts to chronologically organize materials by date of publication. The first few items are those with no date attached, and then it moves into medieval items in the collection. However, this browse is not completely accurate. If you are looking for a particular title, you should still search for it.

Do you have a search question that wasn’t answered on this page? Email us at!

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