Sheila - it's a known problem with the search at the moment - it only returns results from the DT not the Forum.
You have several alternatives:
1) If you know something of the title of the thread, put that in the Filter box and set the Age drop-down to All (or something shorter if you have some idea of the time frame), and press Refresh. This will show you the threads with your search info in the title. (This is the quickest way usually, especially if you're searching for song titles)
2) Use the Google search box (at the bottom of the search area).
3) You can also see of the old Advanced Search (in the Quick Links drop down) has anything to help you. (I don't use this one much).
I search using Google directly, adding site:mudcat.org to the search string like another word. The downside is that sometimes the search results link to individual messages rather than to threads, and these messages may lack links to get to the remainder of the thread (newer message pages are better about cross-linking). However, thread links tend to come up first; if they don't you can also try another search quoting the thread title from a message.
The regular search still works for the Digital Tradition, but not for the Forum. You'll see there's a Google box in the blue search box, and that's set for searching Mudcat. Also, there are a number of search tips in the FAQ.
It's been fixed many times, Michael - but it keeps going haywire. It's a problem with corruption of the search index, and we haven't found a solution. Perhaps we should just eliminate it, but it does work quite well when it's working.
There are many other search utilities at Mudcat that work very well, and they're all explained in the FAQ - but I'll also post them here.
Searching Mudcat for Information
It's easy to search for songs in the Digital Tradition Folk Song Database - just put some words from the song in the search box you'll find on most Mudcat pages, and click the "go" button. There's an advanced box that will help you narrow your search and pinpoint exactly what you're looking for. Also, click here for more song search help. You'll note that there is a dropdown menu of letters at the bottom of the search box - those letters link to a "titles list" of the songs in the Digital Tradition. Titles can be misleading, so you'll probably have better results if you use the search box to search for a distinctive phrase from the song. Here's that search box:
Notice the search box toward the bottom of the box above - that's Google Custom Search, set to use Google to search the contents of Mudcat. Try it - you'll find it works quite well, especially if you search for a phrase in quotes.
(searching by thread title) Toward the top of the Mudcat Forum main menu (click here), you'll see a "filter" box - put an appropriate word in the box and set the age to whatever is appropriate to cover the period you want to search. Click the grey "reset" button, and all threads with that word in the title should appear (a "thread" is a series of forum messages, posted on a specific topic). Here's a filter box you can try: Note: The forum menu is set to display all threads for which messages have been posted in the last 24 hours. If your thread has disappeared, please don't start a new one. Just use the "filter" or "search the forum" links on the main forum menu, and pull your thread up and post a new message in that thread - that will bring your thread up for another 24 hours. Your new message can be just the word "refresh" if you have nothing else to add. If you're viewing Mudcat from work or a library or another location that has a "profanity filter" on its computers, you may not be able to view our Forum Menu if we happen to have a so-called "naughty word" in a thread title. We've tried to tag these titles "pg13." If your profanity filter blocks your access, try putting pg13 in the Filter box and check the "filter out" box.
Outdated search tools
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, we had a blue search box to search the Digital Tradition. It had lots of shortcomings, but it may work when our regular search engine is down. It also had a "titles" list that worked horribly. Here is our Old Blue Search Box:
Our main search engine depends on an index which is supposed to be updated regularly. We had a crash in the summer of 2005 which corrupted our database of messages, and we were not able to update the search index from then until December, 2008. Therefore, the Search function turned up only messages posted before 2005. Max did a one-time update of the Index in December, 2008, and later automated the indexing updates. However, performance of the Mudcat Search Engine has been spotty. If it doesn't work, try the Google search box above.
The Filter is our best tool for finding things by thread name. You can use the Old Advanced Forum Search in our QuickLinks dropdown menu to find posts by message title or by the name of the poster.
Quick Links Be sure to explore the Quick Links dropdown menu you'll find below, and on most Mudcat pages. Just click on the down arrow, and the menu will appear. On that menu, you'll find a link that will allow you to Search the Forum (or you can click here). Just select that link and hit the "go" button, and follow the search instructions.