Searching the catalogue
  • Enter one or more terms in a field - terms may be entered in multiple fields.
  • Click Search or press Return to start the search. Use of search fields is explained below.
  • A list of catalogue records containing your search terms will be displayed; click a line number to view the full record.
  • The default sort order for lists is RefNo (Reference Number). Click the field name at the top of a column to sort by that field, which will then become the sort order for subsequent searches until changed again.
  • It is not necessary to enter punctuation between terms, and the system ignores capitalisation.
  • Do not enter common words (examples: as a an the of ) as the system may include records not relevant to your search in results.
  • The system will treat terms entered in any of the search fields as Keywords (And). See options between words for how to change to a Phrase search.
Definitions of search fields

Any Text
  • The system will search for the entered term(s) anywhere within a catalogue record. Use this field if you don't know which field information might appear in.
Ref No
  • Each catalogue record is a given a unique reference number.
  • If you know the reference number for a specific record you may enter it here - example: NPG22/4/3. Do not enter spaces between numbers or "/"
Level
  • Each Archive collection is arranged in a hierarchy. It is possible to limit your search to a specific Level or category of catalogue record (collections will not always contain every level of record):
  • Fonds: the top-level record which gives an overview of the contents of a collection
  • Sub-Fonds
  • Series
  • Sub-Series
  • File
  • Item: record containing information about one of more specific items
  • If search results do not display records relevant to your enquiry, try the same search again but without limiting the search to a Level.
Title
  • Searches the title field of record descriptions only. If search results do not display records relevant to your enquiry then try the same search again in the ‘Any Text’ field.
Description
  • Searches the description field of records only. If search results do not display records relevant to your enquiry then try the same search again in the ‘Any Text’ field.
Date
  • You can combine your search terms with a year date limit. Always enter year dates with four digits; search dates may be entered in several formats:
  • 1941
  • 1955-1965 (do not insert spaces)
  • 1930s - records will be found if the date field in a catalogue record includes a date within 1930-1939 examples: 1930s will find records with: 8 Nov 1912-Dec 1936 6 Feb 1936-6 Oct 1937 27 May 1936
  • If you do not find records relevant to your enquiry, try the same search again without entering dates.
Search tip

By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However you can change this default setting by clicking the ‘Refine search criteria’ button and selecting from the following three options:
  • With all the words
  • With at least one of the words
  • Without the words
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