Quote Mining John Calvin
Jul 9, 2009 David Lang

Quote Mining John Calvin

Tomorrow marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, and Calvinists everywhere are defying their "frozen chosen" reputation to party like it's 1509. In honor of the occasion, I decided to search Gathered Gold for pithy Calvin quotes which I've been posting on Twitter for the past several days. Here's quote-mining made easy.

First, I opened Gathered Gold and searched the Author field for John Calvin. This results in 910 hits, which should amount to 455 quotations. I could move from quote to quote by clicking the down Mark button at the bottom of my tool window, but that's a tedious process. I'd much rather just scan all the Calvin quotes.

CalvinQuote1

Using the Show pop-up menu at the top right corner of the text pane, I can adjust how my search results are displayed. I can choose to show only those articles which contain a hit, only those paragraphs which contain a hit, or I can select Add Titles to show just the hit paragraphs together with their article titles. Here's how it looks with Add Titles selected:

CalvinQuote2

As you can see, this view makes it easy for me to scan the various Calvin quotes to find the ones I like best. And by leaving the article titles in place, I can skip the quotes which address a topic I'm not interested in.

By the way, I could search for particular kinds of Calvin quotes by opening More options and choosing to search multiple fields at once. For example, I could search the Titles field for "Love" to find articles on Love with quotes by Calvin.

CalvinQuote3

If that's too narrow, I could choose instead to search the Content field for "love." Yet it's here that I need to be careful to indicate that "love" and "John Calvin" must appear in the same paragraph rather than the same article. If I leave the Search within every pop-up set to Article, I'll get this:

CalvinQuote4

As you can see, this search did not just find quotes by John Calvin which mention "love," but quotes in which any author mentions "love" in the same article with quotes by John Calvin. Specifying that "love" and "John Calvin" must appear in the same paragraph narrows the search to places where Calvin mentions "love."

CalvinQuote5

Learning how to use some of these lesser known features of the tool window can help you find what you're looking for without wading through a lot of extraneous material. This comes in quite handy when you're looking for that perfect quote.

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Archived Comments

Daniel Möbel

April 18, 2011 3:04 PM

Nice tutorial, a friend of mine who is currently studying in the US told me about  the Accordance bible software. As a fellow Christian I have never heard about a bible software before but think that it could be very useful for our community. These tips help me to understand it better and to decide whether to buy it or not.




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