How to search the catalogue

Brief guide to searching
There are two main ways to search the database: by the simple search on the Home page and by advanced search.

Simple search
The simple search is accessed via the “Google-style” search box on the Home page. By default, this searches across the Title and Description fields only. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search. For example, if you type in the terms 'Hall' and 'photograph', each record appearing in the list of search results will contain both words, although not necessarily together.

Advanced search
The advanced search enables you to perform “Any text” searches, and also to search specifically on certain fields e.g. Title, Description and Reference number.

Refine advanced search criteria
By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However, you can choose to change the default search criteria in an "Any Text" and/or "Title" search by clicking the "Refine Search Criteria" option. There are three ways to refine the search option:

    • With all the words.
    • With at least one of the words.
    • Without the words.

Search tips

    • You may use the asterisk "*" to truncate your search terms. e.g. "clothwork*" (which would bring up all records containing the words clothworker, clothworking, Clothworkers... etc).
    • To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in inverted commas, e.g. "defective cloths”.

Searching by date
You may also refine your search by date or a range of dates, given in the following forms: e.g. 1910, pre 1700, nineteenth century, 16th century, c 1850, 1600-1700 or 2000- .