Tips For Researchers

The Halifax Rainbow Encyclopedia (H•R•E) is designed for easy storage and retrieval of facts and stories, and indexes to the locations of others.

This article gives some tips for using the H•R•E for research.

It is a work in progress and contains mistrakes. Please add, add to, and improve articles if you can, and report mistrakes which are very easily fixed. When you're ready to contribute, see TipsForContributors.

Table of Contents

Here's a table of contents and the number of articles at the top. You can use your browser's find-in-page function to find people, places, and events in the titles only, of existing articles only.


A full text search is in the upper right hand corner.

Searches are not case sensitive, so searching for GAYLINE and GayLine and gayline are the same.

If you don't know if someone is a McDonald or a MacDonald, just leave off the M/MA and search (in the upper right hand corner) for cdonald.

If you're not totally sure how the name of a person was written, e.g. AnneFulton or AnnFulton, searching just the part you know will find all of the articles.

The search only shows the first reference in an article; your search term may be mentioned several times.

Proper Nouns

Almost all multiword proper nouns are written joined together as they were spoken, e.g. CitadelHill and TheTurret.

This slightly odd notation means that proper nouns (except for people who have the same names) are unique - when you search for references to CitadelHill you won't get any returns for Citadel High School or Camp Hill Cemetery.

Article Categories

There are many article categories. You can get a list of categories with this:

  1. Then click on the category name you're interested in.
  2. Then find all the articles in that category by clicking on on the "Backlink" shown above.

Audio & video recordings are found in the Oral History Category

picArticle name / Backlink


The H•R•E is full of links from one article to another, and you will want to look at articles which reference each other. For an exercise, try "1588 Barrington" or GreenLantern.

To find all articles that reference the one you're looking at, click on the name of the article under the bookshelf logo, circled in blue here:


Dates are written extremely consistently in the H•R•E. Although they display as May 17, 1990, they are written as YYYY-MM-DD and this is how you search for them.

For whole months, e.g. May 1998, write 1998–05. It will be displayed as May, 1998.

To search for all events on say, May 17 of any year, search (in the upper right hand corner) for -05-17

Like all searches, you will get some irrelevant items returned.

To search for all events in May of 1998, search for 1998–05.

To search for all events that occurred in July, search for -07


Many street addresses have their own article, in the format 1588 Barrington for The Turret or more recently the Khyber Building. One glaring exception is the GreenLantern which should get fixed.

pic The tiny quill symbol (at right here) indicates an article that someone thinks should exist, but doesn't.

All article names which document murders end with the word "Murder" so you can search the titles like this:;match=_murder


You can put almost all commands in the search bar, like this: