1. Quick search

You can perform a quick search by using the box at the top right hand side on the home page. This option searches across all the title and description fields in the catalogue database.

Simply type the word or words you wish to search on into the search box. Where more than one term is entered, the search will automatically retrieve records which contain both terms. These terms may not always appear next to each other in the text.

If you want to search for an exact phrase enter the text with double quotation marks eg “William Cullen".

You can also search for part of a word followed, or preceded, by a 'wildcard' asterisk to broaden your search eg clin* will retrieve records which include the words clinic and clinical.

2. Advanced search

To undertake an advanced search, click on the 'Search Catalogue' button on the left hand menu bar.

Any text

Use this field to search across all the text fields in the catalogue database, including index terms. Simply type the word or words you wish to search on into the 'any text' search box, and click on the 'Search' button at the bottom of the screen.

If you want to include any instances of plurals, use the ‘wildcard’ asterisk (*) after the term.

Where more than one term is entered, the search will automatically retrieve records which contain both terms. These terms may not always appear next to each other in the text. If you want to search for an exact phrase enter the text with double quotation marks eg "William Cullen".

Using the ‘Refine Search Criteria’ allows you to search for records that contain all of your search terms ('with all the words'), to search for records that contain at least one, but not necessarily all, of your search terms ('with at least one of the words') or to exclude terms from your search (‘without the words’). However, in this search these options cannot be combined.

Title and Description 

If you wish to narrow down your search, instead of choosing the ‘Any Text’ option, enter your search term under either the Title or Description field. The results will only call up instances where your chosen term appears in the title or description of the record.

If you have entered more than one word, you can further refine your search by selecting 'Refine Search Criteria' as described above but in this instance you can combine the different search options. For example, if you wish to do a broad search for lecture notes but do not want to include Cullen, you could enter 'lecture notes' under ‘with all the words’ and enter 'Cullen' under ‘without the words’.

Date

After typing a search term into one of the categories above, you can narrow your search down to a particular date, or a date range eg 1784, 1780s, 1780-1790, or 18th century.

Reference Number

If you know the Reference Number (Ref No) of a particular collection or the specific item you require, you can enter it in this search field.

Format and Category

Many items in the catalogue have been allocated a format and category. Use the drop-down lists for searching by themselves or to refine a search.

Level

This search allows you to see a list of all the collection titles. Click on the drop down menu and select Collection. The other levels are less useful as a searching tool.

Whole Database Search

If you want to see the whole database put an asterisk in the ‘Ref No’ field. The database is almost 30,000 items.

3. Persons Search

When making a personal name search, you are advised to search only on the surname to broaden your chances of finding the person you want. Also, people's names and place names may vary in spelling and you may need to search alternative spellings in order to find all relevant records.

How is the information from a search presented?

The results of your search will be presented in three columns:

  • Ref No – the number you will need to order a document
  • Title
  • Date
  • Level

The total number of catalogue records retrieved will be given at the top of the display. If your search has retrieved more than 5 records, you can navigate through the list uing the Next, Last, Previous and Start arrows at the top and bottom of the screen. The drop down box in the bottom right hand corner allows you to choose the number of records shown in your hitlist at any one time.

Please note that the search term(s) may not appear in the text displayed in the hit list; if not, it will appear in the more detailed catalogue descriptions which can be viewed by clicking on the Ref No.

Please also note that closed items are not displayed. Please contact us for information on access restrictions.

How do I sort the records in the 'search results' hitlist?

By default, records in a hitlist are presented in Ref No order. However, you can also sort the records by Title or by Date by clicking on the appropriate column heading above the displayed records.

How can I find out more information about an entry displayed in the 'search results' hitlist?

By clicking anywhere on the text of a particular entry, the full description and all other relevant information will be displayed. Once the record description appears, click on the ‘Ref No’ if you then want to browse the record in its hierarchical context (ie how it relates to other records in the collection) and see other records in the same catalogue. Use the back button on your browser to return to the search results overview.

 

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