How to Find Quotations on Bahá’í Search Sites

Jan 31, 2021
screenshot of top section of new Baha'i Reference Library home page

Image: screenshot of top section of the new Bahá’í Reference Library website featuring a photo of the International Archives Building at the Bahá’í World Centre in Haifa, Israel.

Editor’s Note: Brent Poirier, a frequent faculty member for Wilmette Institute courses, took seriously the Institute’s mission of “strengthening the participants’ research skills” by adding to his recent course Charters of the Faith a helpful video on how to use Bahá’í search sites.

Wilmette Institute faculty member Brent Poirier, in an informal video chat with students in his Charters of the Faith course, has provided new and seasoned researchers with valuable information on how to “find things on two Universal House of Justice websites” and on the Ocean website.

This link: Bahá’í Reference Library will take you to the “Old” Bahá’í Reference Library website, which has a link to the “New” Bahá’í Reference Library site. Typing in will take you to the new reference website.

Top section of Home page of the “Old” Bahá’í Reference Library website

Brent opens his video by reading a prayer and then showing us, first, how to find a phrase in the prayer in the “Old” Bahá’í Reference Library and, second in the “New” Bahá’í Reference Library. He also shows us how to limit our searches (most of us have ended up with fifty possibilities: Yes, Virginia, there are several ways to cut down the possibilities).

Brent goes on to explain how to cite a specific page for quotations in the “New” Bahá’í Reference Library. And he shows how to make a very fast search in the ever-so-useful Ocean search engine (now available as Ocean 2.0, which can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store).

Brent emphasizes several times in his talk the importance of using the Help links on all three sites. He also noted that search words do not have to be in sequence and that we should choose odd rather than common words in our searches


Brent Poirier, JD

Writer, Independent Scholar

I was raised Roman Catholic. My first two years of college, at St. Mary’s College in northern California, were as a seminarian. I felt that the most important course I took during this time was a course in Formal Logic. I left the seminary to see if I could live by the New Testament in the outer world before presuming to tell others how to live by it as a priest. I transferred to Loyola-Marymount where I majored in psychology. I sought an expression of faith that was coherent with the science of the fulfillment of human potential, and effective at promoting world peace; within a few years I found the Bahá’í Faith. Later I went to law school and took post-graduate program in international law at Salzburg University, including work in the legal offices of the United Nations in Vienna. My professional background is as an attorney. I have taught university courses in international law and in business law. I have testified before Congressional committees on matters related to international commerce. Over the course of nearly 50 years I have served in various elected and appointed capacities in the Bahá’í community, and often spoken at Bahá’í conferences and summer schools. I have a particular interest in demonstrating the spiritual bridge between the Christian and Bahá’í revelations. I have a keen interest in the scriptural foundations of the Universal House of Justice, in the Covenants linking the progressive stages of the Bahá’í revelation, and in the connection between the legal and mystical aspects of the Bahá’í teachings. I have a special interest in gathering and recounting Bahá’í stories. I have written on legal topics for West and Kluwer, and on spiritual topics for the Huffington Post and on my blogs. I am in the early stages of writing a book to introduce Christians to Bahá’u’lláh, and another book directed to new Bahá’ís. I am married to Vickie Hu Poirier, a textile artist of wide renown in the Bahá’í community.See Faculty Bio


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