How do I search the database?

Please note
Not everything held by the archive is catalogued. Cataloguing is an ongoing process. Please contact us to enquire about records that may not yet be catalogued.

Brief guide to searching
There are two main ways to search the catalogue: Quick Search and Advanced Search.

Quick Search
The Quick Search is accessed via the search box in the top right hand corner of the page.

By default, the Quick Search will search only across the Title and Description fields. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search. This means it looks for records where all the terms are found together.

Please note that it is not possible to search for dates in Quick Search. To add dates, use the Advanced Search.

Advanced Search
The Advanced Search enables you to perform "Any text field" searches, and also to search specifically on certain non-text fields such as a date.

Refining an Advanced Search
By default, the Advanced Search works as an "Or" search, looking for any of the terms that you have entered. However you can choose to change this default by clicking the "Refine Search Criteria" option. There are three ways to refine the search option:
  • Look for all the words - this will perform an AND search
  • Look for at least one of the terms
  • Look for records without the terms - this is looking for anything but the terms entered

Searching on picklist fields
If the field on which you are searching is a "picklist" field (a field in which the content is restricted to a limited list) it will appear with a drop down list from which you can select your search term.

Wildcard Search
In both Quick and Advanced Searches you can also use a wildcard with *. For example, Phill* will find the surnames Phillips and Phillpott.
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