Skip to Main Content

Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association: Searching & Browsing the Collection

This guide provides an overview of the Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association digital collection, as well as instructions on how it can be searched, browsed and used for historical research.

Transacations Digital Collection


Pictured above is the browse/search screen for the Transactions Digital Collection. For access from here, click on the image. 

Searching the Collection

The Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association collection allows for full-text searching of every word within every article of the transactions within the basic search box on the upper right corner of the screen. There is also metadata for each article, which provides for enhanced article title and author searching through the "Advanced Search" option. The Basic search allows you to cast a wider net, whereas the Advanced search allows you to retrieve more specific results.

Basic Search:

  • Search "cholecystectomy" in the Basic search box. This pulls up 97 results, which means that 97 volumes of the transactions contain this term within them.
  • Click on one of the volumes. The articles within the volume that contain this term have a red bar next to them. Select "Filtered" above the article titles to show only those that include the term.
  • Click on one of the article titles, and then the green arrows in the upper right on the displayed image to "Expand" the article. You will be directed to the occurrences of the term within that article.

*Remember, this search option will find every instance of the term within the transactions, even if the article is not generally about the topic but only mentions it. However, it will also reach articles that do not contain the search term in the title, but do discuss the subject in depth. An example in this case is the article titled "A Review of One Thousand Operations for Gallstone Disease, with Especial Reference to the Mortality" from Volume XVII (1904), which discusses cholecystectomy in relation to other operations for gallstones.

Advanced Search:

  • On the Advanced Search screen, first select the Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association collection from the list and save. If this is not done, the search will apply to all collections within the UAB Digital Collections.
  • Under "Enter Search Terms," first select the "Title" field option. If searching for an author, select "Creator" instead.
  • Enter "cholecystectomy" to pull up 8 volumes that have articles within them which include the term in the title.

Searching Multiple Terms:

  • The Advanced Search screen is also a good option for searching multiple terms, since it allows you to search "Any of the words", "All of the words", "Exact phrase", or "None of the words" you enter.
  • Search "gall-bladder cholecystectomy" in "All fields" as an exact phrase in the Advanced Search and you will get only 3 results. If performed in the Basic Search box, the same terms in quotes pulls 78 results.
  • Another useful technique to know is the use of the * wild card. For example, if you are searching "renal transplant" but want to pull up "transplants" and "transplantation" as well, simply put a * after the word as such "renal transplants*."

Browsing the Collection

To browse the Transactions of the Southern Surgical Association, use the direct link to the browsing page (


  • The digital collection is arranged chronologically by publication date. Please note that each volume is published the year after the meeting was held. Therefore, the transactions for 1888 display with the publication year of 1889 at the top and then the title below.
  • If you are looking for a more recently published volume, change the "Sort by" order to "Publication Date Descending" for the 1997 transactions to appear at the top. Sorting can also be done by title.

Browsing within Volumes:

  • When you click on a particular volume, you are taken to the volume-level page. The left side of the screen displays the selected image within the volume. The right displays the articles in order of their appearance within the volume.
  • Volume-level metadata always displays directly under the image, and the article-level metadata displays at the bottom.
  • Simply click on the article title on the right screen to jump to it.
  • In order to see the full article, click on the arrows in the upper right corner of the image to expand.


expand button


Please Note:

  • Individual articles can be downloaded and printed from the expanded article screen.
  • If you have difficulty browsing or searching the collection, please contact Peggy Balch at the Reynolds-Finley Historical Library for assistance.
© UAB Libraries ι University of Alabama at Birmingham ι About Us ι Contact Us ι Disclaimer