How to use these catalogues

You can search across several kinds of records within this catalogue

  • Collections: these are the descriptions of the collections (the catalogues)
  • People & organisations: these are the creators of the collections

In future you will also be able to search by:

  • Digital objects & photos: these are digital versions of our collections, and includes audio and visual material
  • Subject and Place: both are generated by tags attached to records

3 ways to search this catalogue

1: Free text search

If you want to browse all the collections, you can do a free text search in the search box. The auto-suggest feature will give you options as you type.

The box icon means the result is a catalogue record, the person icon takes you to a creator.

You can go directly to a record by choosing one from the option list or continue typing and press enter or click the magnifying glass.

A successful search will offer results from the catalogue descriptions, from people and organisations and across subject and place. The most relevant results appear in the central section, while related or less relevant collections will also appear further down and on the left-hand list.

You can narrow the results from the list of options on the left or browse through the central list.

You can also click to expand the advanced search option where you can limit the results by various criteria including date range or format. For example, the date range filter finds records falling within a specific period of time or you can choose to filter results just to show top level descriptions (the overall description of the collection). You can also add and exclude search criteria using AND, OR and NOT options

2: A focussed search:

You can use quote marks to search for an exact phrase eg "John Glas". This type of search will give you a drop-down option you can choose from. The results list shows all records containing the search phrase

If you know the collection's reference number, type it in using quote marks eg "MS 9". The results will show records from the MS 9 collection as well as a list of people and organisations who have a connection with the collection

3: Search a specific set of records

The Browse function has a drop down where you can choose to narrow your search across the collections or their creators (just like the left hand menu).

Choose a category and all its records will appear as results.

You can narrow down the list by entering your search term(s) in the results search box which will bring up all the records containing your term.

Going to the record you want:

The central list offers the most relevant results; just click on the title you've chosen to bring up the full record.

The full record may have more information than displayed in the initial search results. You will also see the list of the whole collection with your record highlighted in the collection hierarchy. IMPORTANT NOTE: This collection list is not always in numerical order so may not reflect the collection's hierarchical arrangement.

If you browse the collection list, you may find other relevant records that didn't show up in the search results because they didn't contain any of the search terms. You can choose and click on any record in the collection list to see its details. If you click on + next to the folders, more records will appear.

You can save the records you're interested in by adding them to the clipboard, then exporting them in CSV or XML.

Other search tips

Advanced search option:

Expand the Advanced search option where you can complete as many of the fields as you need to narrow search results.

Using 'wildcards':

To allow for plurals or parts of words use the * wildcard character. For example, if you are looking for records about 'art' then searching for art* will find records featuring 'art', 'artistic' and 'artists'. Please note this will also find records where 'art' forms part of the word, eg 'part', so you may see some unexpected results.

Spelling differences might be overcome using the ? wildcard character. If you are unsure of the exact spelling of a word - for example taylor or tailor, then searching for ta?lor will find records of both options

Searching by non-phrase:

You can exclude records containing a particular word or phrase by using NOT in your search. For example, if you want to find records on jute but not on linen, search for jute NOT linen. Note: ignore the dropdown options and click enter to get the results