Searching the archive catalogue
Enter a word or words to search across the whole online catalogue.
Word Options can be used when entering more than one term in a search option:
Field Options can be used when searching across the fields: Any Text; Date; RefNo. The default option is ‘And’.
Narrow / Widen / Exclude Options can be used to refine an initial search and can be very useful when completing more complex searches.
- Select ‘And’ to find all the terms entered (default option)
- Select ‘Or’ to find one or more of the terms entered
- Select ‘Phrase’ to find multiple search terms in a given order
- Click on the ‘refine search’ button.
- Enter new terms in any of the fields and depending on whether you wish to narrow existing results to only include the new search term, widen the results to also include the new term, or completely exclude the term from the existing results highlight the correct option.
- If you refine your search but click the search button or hit Enter a brand new search will be completed.
- When searching for a name if the first search is unsuccessful try searching for the surname only.
- Use a 'wild card' asterisk to broaden your search:
- Jo*es will find Jones, Johannes, Jolles etc.
- Education* will find Education, Educationalist, Educational etc.
- *man will find Man, Cleryman, Roman, Chairman etc.
Searches will produce a hit list of results from across all our collections providing basic information: Reference Number (RefNo), title and date. You can order the list by any of these fields by clicking on the relevant link.
To move through the hit list click on First, Back, Next, Last above the hit list.
To see the full description for an individual search result click ’Read More’. To return to the hit list click on the link at the top of the page: ‘Record 1 of…’.
For a printer friendly version of either the hit list or the full details of a record click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Seeing the record in context
The context of a record is just as important as its content, as a result archive catalogues are based on a hierarchical structure to show the context (and provenance) of individual records.
To see the record within context of the collection to which it belongs click on the link in the 'RefNo' field. This will take you to what is called the ‘Tree View’ from where you can browse the full catalogue.
To open up a section (or series) in the catalogue press the ‘+’ sign. In order to close that section you will need to open another section.
To see the full details of a record from the Tree View click on the number to the left of the title. The description at the top of the Tree View will provide a broad overview of the whole collection.
To return to the Tree View from the full description click on the link in the 'RefNo' field.
To return to the hit list you will need to use the ‘Back’ icon on the toolbar.
Booking an appointment
To contact the archives use the link at the top of each page.
Make a note of the Reference Number(s) (RefNo) of each record you would like to consult as these will be required when you book an appointment.
Generally you will need to order either ‘items’ or ‘files’. This information is shown on the full record description under ‘Level’.
Glossary of terms
Fonds: This is the highest level of description, which represents an entire archive collection (eg the records created or received by an organisation, individual or family)
Sub-fonds/Sub-sub fonds: These are lower levels within the hierarchy of the catalogue which represent, for example, the departmental structure of an organisation, or the subject arrangement of the papers of an individual
Series, Sub-series: These are the levels where, for example, runs of minutes, series of files etc are described
File: This usually represents the lowest level of description of material in a collection and is used for describing, for example, an individual minute book, ledger, diary, photograph album, file of correspondence or bundle of receipts
Item: Occasionally, this level is used where, for example, an individual letter is being described
- Extent: This field provides information about the quantity of material which is being described (eg 2 manuscript boxes, 1 volume, 14 scrapbooks)