Answered By: Simon Dixon
Last Updated: Sep 19, 2023     Views: 3

​There are two main ways to search the Catalogue, simple and advanced searching. 

Simple search 

The simple search is accessed via the “Find a record” search box on the homepage – enter your search term and click the search button. It will search across the Title and Description fields of all records / collections. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search – i.e., the Catalogue will search for entries containing all of the terms that you have entered. 

Simple search – acceptable search terms 

You may wish to combine search terms in your simple searches using the Boolean “and, or, not” searching options: 

​+ represents Boolean And, meaning the search result must include this word 
- represents Boolean Not, meaning the search result must exclude this word 
| represents Boolean Or, meaning the search result may include this word 

​Place one of these symbols before a word or phrase to apply it. If no symbols are used, Boolean “And” is assumed. 

​For example: 

Railway –Station 

searches all configured fields for the word 'Railway' and excludes any records with the word 'Station' from the search results. 

Typing a field name followed by a colon then a search term, means only that particular field will be searched. If no field names are specified, all configured fields are searched. For example: Title: Railway searches for the word ‘Railway’ in the Title field only, whereas: Railway searches all configured fields for the word 'Railway'. 

It is important to enter search words/phrases carefully to ensure you find the intended results. For example: Title:Railway Station searches for records which have the word ‘Railway’ in the Title field and the word 'Station' in ANY configured field. 

Use (double) quotes around a search term to return exact matching phrases. For example: "Railway Station" searches all configured fields only for the exact phrase 'Railway Station' i.e. the two words together with a space between, in the specified order. Railway Station searches all configured fields for the words 'Railway' and 'Station' anywhere i.e. not necessarily next to each other or in the specified order. 

​Advanced search 

Please click the Advanced Search link on the homepage, or on the top menu bar to access this page. It enables you to perform "Any text" field searches, and also to search specifically on certain fields. ​ 

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 to include all the words; at least one of the words; or without the words. 

Wildcard searching 

​You can use the asterisk symbol * as a wildcard in any part of a word to widen your search. For example entering tunnel* would bring up tunnels, tunnelling, tunnelled, and tunnel. Entering *ground would bring up underground, overground etc. Adding an asterisk to the end of a word would allow you to search for both the singular and plural versions of that term, e.g. if you type marriage* into the search engine, you would find results for the words 'marriage' and 'marriages'. Typing marri* would find results for ‘marriage’, ‘marriages’, ‘married’, and ‘marries’.