How do I search the database?

Simple search

For a simple search, type in a word or words in the search box, and the database will find records that contain them. So if you type in ‘Oliphant’ and ‘Perth’, each record that appears in the list of search results will contain both words, although not necessarily together.

Advanced search

The advanced search enables you to perform more precise searches and to choose which fields to search in. In the advanced search you are able to search in the following fields:

  • Ref No: enter the full record reference eg MS100/1/141. If you wish to see all the records in a collection, enter the collection number, followed by an asterix eg MS100*
  • Title: enter the title of item here to search title fields only
  • Description: enter text here to search the records’ description fields only
  • Date: enter a year or span of years
  • Any Text: any combination of text can be entered here. If you wish to search through one collection, enter the collection reference in the Ref No field and your search term in this field eg MS100* and agriculture

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 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 results

If your search is successful, the search results appear as a list of records, which you can move through a page at a time. To see the full record, click on the Ref no.

The full record describes the item or group of items and other information, such as whether it is accessible. Take a note of the Ref no for each item you wish to view in the Archive search room.

The full record screen also briefly shows you where it sits within its collection. If you click the Ref no, the screen moves to the Hierarchy Browser which shows you the complete collection tree. From here, you can click to see other records within the same collection.

You can use the breadcrumb trail to return to the list of search results or simply start a new search.


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