A Quick Guide to Searching the Library of Latin Texts (CLCLT6)
David S. Sullivan
CLCLT6 has a very long, complete, and puzzling online guide to its use. The present document is intended to orient you quickly to CLCLT6 so you can begin exploring.
1. Entering the database
Go to the Art History/Classics home page:
click on Classics
Resources, then on
Databases. Under the entry for the Library
of Latin Texts there
is a link to
the publisher’s (Brepols) page.
Scroll down and click on GO next to its
To search effectively in CLCLT6, you will need to use its companion product, the Database of Latin Dictionaries (the reason why is explained below) so return to the Brepols page and click on GO next to its entry.
2. Finding out what’s in CLCLT6
Return to the opening screen for CLCLT6.
CLCLT6 contains a large corpus of mostly Christian Latin authors, but also includes a substantial number of the main classical authors. By and large, they are given in modern editions from collections like the Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum, Sources chrétiennes, etc.
To find out if the author and work(s) you are interested in are in CLCLT6, go to the table of contents at the left of the opening screen. Authors are always given in their Latin form, thus Vergil is found under the entry Uergilius (note that CLCLT6 does not employ the letter “v”).
Clicking on the entry for any work will take you to its text. If you are only interested in continuous reading of the work, you can stop here.
3. Searching the entire corpus
You can do a search in a straightforward way from within a text or from the basic CLCLT6 search screen, but you will not get the results you want. To make the best use of CLCLT6, you also need to use the Database of Latin Dictionaries.
This is because in CLCLT6, most of the texts are not entered according to standard classical orthography. You must use the Database of Latin Dictionaries to find complete lists of the forms in which the words you are interested in appear.
For instance, let’s say you want to find instances of the forms of the word “spiritus.”
Go to the Database of Latin Dictionaries and click on Advanced Search at the left of the opening screen.
Click on Search. (The reason to do this is that the database contains a number of different dictionaries that may use different forms of entry for a given word, or a given word may correspond to several headwords. The “CTLO lexical headword” unites them.)
Note that some of the forms would probably not have occurred to you!
At this point, you can click on Go to CLCLT; you will be automatically transferred into the database. (Note that you must have disabled your pop-up blocker for this to work; alternately, you can hold down the CONTROL key when you click on the bar.)
Now you will see (towards the bottom of the screen):
The default search shown here separates forms with commas, equivalent to Boolean OR, i.e. the program will locate all instances of all forms in the search box. CLCLT6 has an elaborate system of wild cards, truncation and logical operators: it is shown grayed out next to the search box. The syntax governing their use is complicated, and if you think you need them, you should consult the online guide.
You can restrict your search to a given author using the boxes that appear above this on the screen, but for now, let’s search the entire corpus. Click the search bar. (The Count hits bar just gives the total number of occurrences in the corpus. The Hits/Period gives the number of occurrences in each of the time-spans to which authors are assigned within CLCLT6; this can be handy if you are searching a very common word and know what period you are interested in; see below.)
In this instance (and often), the CTLO Lexical headword gathers among the other forms of SPIRITUS a form not actually found in CLCLT6. You will be prompted whenever this occurs, and you must delete the non-represented form(s) and any superfluous punctuation (remember, punctuation stands for logical operators) in the search box for the search to proceed. Here, you must delete ispiritus and the comma that precedes it. (You can circumvent this by unchecking the Check word box: the program will not then insure that all forms you have listed do in fact occur, but doing so may result in false results.)
this, you will see (finally!) your term’s occurrences. The open book
next to each entry gives bibliographical, statistical, and background
information for the text. The check box is used for exporting and
items (see below). The results of your search are displayed in
order, in the context of what CLCLT6 calls
a “sententia.” This is an artificial unit. In the Bible, it corresponds
single verse; other texts are divided differently, sometimes into quite
sententiae. Clicking on the blue link will take you to the same spot in
whole text; from there, you can scroll back and forth through the
You can also copy words from the text into the search box using the
the bottom right of the screen or highlight a word and look it up in
the Database of Latin Dictionariesusing
the button Consult DLD.
4. Limiting your search
You can apply broad chronological limits to your results by clicking on the gray bars, which correspond to the periods into which the editors of CLCLT6 have divided their corpus. To do this, from the search screen, click “Hits/Period”. The distribution of instances will appear in the bars at the lower right corner of the screen:
Clicking on the red bars will take you to the subset of instances occurring in the corresponding periods.
More precise limits can be applied using the boxes at the top of the search screen:
The Browselist bars at the right allow you to discover valid forms used within CLCLT6, for instance, the Latin form of a name you may be more familiar with in English or another language. To do this, hit the Browselist bar by Author; you will be taken here:
Type in as much of the name as you think will be the same in English and Latin into the Term box, and then hit Position. This will take you to that part of the list:
If you check the box by his Latin name, then press the Select bar at the lower left of the screen, the proper form of his name will be transferred automatically to the search screen:
You would follow the same procedure for adding other qualifiers to your search. For instance, you might want to know only the uses of a word in the Homilies (a common title used by many authors) of Gregory the Great (a voluminous author).
other fields by
which you can limit (or expand) a search are self-explanatory except
Clavis. This refers to the Clavis patrum
latinorum (BR1705.A12.D45 1995
5. Exporting your results
You can export or print citations (not complete texts) by checking the boxes appearing next to the ones you want to save and clicking the export button on the left side of the screen (note that for smaller result sets than this, you can select all)
Both the export and print option allow you to expand the context of your quotation by up to ten sententiae and to include your search criteria and background information (which edition was used, etc.) for future reference.
The export option allows you to specify the format in which the files are saved, either XML or HTML.