The portal O Acervo Estadão is presented entirely in Portuguese, the language of the country and newspaper, with no English interface. This intuitive database still can be easily used by anyone familiar with basic functionality of news databases.
The main interface offers a “Google-like” basic search for articles across the entire collection. Users may opt to search the full archive, front pages only, or only the censored material. Contents have been OCR’ed and indexed to the page level: unfortunately the user can not search by article title or headwords. Additional metadata has been applied for particular category sections (cadernos) of the paper. It is not apparent whether the 75 categories of article types apply consistently to sections of the paper over time. 
Search results are displayed according to relevance, with page images and highlighted text. There does not appear to be an option to sort results (by date, for example), but users may filter results by:
- Edition (as mentioned, the site contains both the “São Paulo” and “Brasil” editions where available);
- Date, using a handsome graphical interface for decade, year, and month of publication;
- News section (general news, cities, economy, editorial, sport, real estate, etc.)
No advanced option is available for initial searching. However, in addition to filtering search results, the user may also apply advanced searching (busca avançada) following the initial query by specifying exact phrases, excluded words, or limiting the search to a particular date range (at the decade-level only).
The interface also allows searching for text within a particular page; highlighted searched terms facilitate navigation within the page. This feature appeared to work sporadically during the review period.
To browse by a particular date, the Acervo portal offers both a dropdown menu for dates as well as a graphical interface linked from the homepage to quickly deliver the user to a page view. Both work well, with the latter offering a slight advantage, as it displays which dates are available (for instance, January 1891 has several dates in which copies of the paper are missing or not published. The dropdown menu does not indicate missing dates, which would result in an error message, whereas the calendar browse more clearly expresses dates not available).
The platform offers several options for accessing the content. The two principal means are full-text search and date browsing.
Topics and Personalities
An added feature of the site is the ability to browse articles based on topics or personalities of interest. The Acervo presently lists more than 320 personages and 32 topics encompassing events of regional interest (abolition of slavery, establishment of the Estado Novo, samba) or global significance (AIDS, Russian revolution, stock market crash of 1929). Each selection has an introductory essay and a selection of issues picked by the editor of the topic or personality.
The Acervo allows printing of page images. However, it does not permit downloading of page images in text-searchable form (PDF, etc). Using standard browser functionality, users may download JPEG images of pages (96 dpi) to their local drive, but all search functionality and accompanying metadata is stripped out.