For a more specific search select the ‘Advanced Search’ button.


Searching using other fields

You may decide to search using a field other than ‘AnyText’. Additional search fields include ‘RefNo’ (i.e. reference), ‘Date’, ‘Title/description’ and ‘Level’.
You can search the catalogue using the ‘RefNo’ field if you know the reference for a particular collection or item. A search done in this way will retrieve all available records in that collection.
Enter the reference in the ‘RefNo’ field and click the search button, or press return.




North East England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers



National Union of Mineworkers (Durham Area)

This field can be used to retrieve all catalogue records for a single year or a date range. It can also be used to limit a search made using another field such as ‘AnyText’, by retrieving only those records that match both the search term and the date.
Examples of valid date searches:
1915 - 1930
18 Jan 1972
Jan-May 1999
12 Dec - 23 Dec 1950
11th Jan 1899 - 12th Dec 1999
19th century
mid 18th century
early 20th century
18-19 century
Each collection or item is given a title that identifies the material. A text-based search in this field will retrieve all occurrences of the word or words in this field only. This is in contrast to using the ‘AnyText’ field, which searches all fields in the database.
Using the ‘Level’ field allows you to view particular parts of a catalogue, for example the description for the whole collection, the record series, or individual files and items.
If you are new to archive catalogues, the following summary might be helpful. Archives are collections of records created by an individual or organisation in the course of their business or other activities. In order to make sense of an individual file or item in an archive, it is necessary to see it as a component part of the larger collection. Archive catalogues therefore aim to describe each record in a way that explains the context of the record and the relationship it has with other records in the collection. This is achieved by using multiple ‘levels’ of description, in a hierarchy. At the ‘top’ of the catalogue there will be a general description of the whole collection. Below this, there may be descriptions of sub-divisions of the collection -  ‘series’ or groups of records, and below these, catalogue records for the files, volumes and individual items, i.e. the physical records available to researchers.
The following terms are used in the ‘Level’ field:
Collection. This is the top level of description in an archive catalogue giving an overview of the whole collection, including the creators of the records, dates, extent, scope and content, arrangement, related materials and details of the source of the collection.
Section: Another word for a ‘sub-division’ of a collection. In some catalogues there may be records that describe the sub-divisions present in an organisation, e.g. departments, or in the arrangement of the papers, e.g. by region or subject.
Series: A series is generally a set of records that are similar in type, or were naturally associated with one another in their original arrangement, e.g. a run of personnel files, a set of diaries, or a sequence of letters. N.B. Series can be further sub-divided into sub-series, etc.
Item. A physical file or bundle of papers. This level is also often used to describe volumes, such as minute books, diaries or photograph albums, which contain many individual entries or items.
To search using the ‘Level’ field, open the drop-down pick list by clicking on the arrow at the end of the field box. Select a level by clicking on it, which inserts it into the field. Click on the search button, or press return.
The most useful search using the ‘Level’ field is using ‘Collection’. For example, a search for ‘Collections’ will pull up the collection descriptions of all catalogued archive collections held in Special Collections.
Extra search options


Word options
If you are searching the title, and your search string contains more than one word, you have the options of using Refine Search Criteria. There are three ways of refining the search option:

  • With all the words
  • With at least one of the words
  • Without the words

For example, if you search for ‘Durham’ and ‘Photographs’ by selecting ‘with all the words’, you will retrieve records that contain both search terms. This is a good way to retrieve catalogue records for photographs of Durham from the collections.
If you search for ‘Durham’ or ‘County Durham’ by selecting the ‘with at least one of the words’ option, you will retrieve records that contain either word. This is a good way to retrieve all catalogue records for a place where the cataloguer may have described it using different versions of its name.
Selecting the ‘without the words’ option means that your search will not retrieve records containing that word.

Simple searching using the ‘AnyText’ field

The simplest form of search is to use the ‘AnyText’ field. With this option, the whole catalogue will be searched, i.e. all fields in the database. Enter your search term in this field and click on the grey ‘search’ button, or press return. To carry out a new search, simply enter your search term/s and click the Search button, or press return. The original hit list will be lost and replaced with the new one.

Navigating search results

Hit list of records

Once you have made your search, the system will provide a hit list of results. Results are presented in three columns, including the RefNo, title and description of the records.
The hit list may run over more than one page. The total number of items will be displayed above the hit list. You can move forwards and backwards through these items using the arrows provided.
Results are automatically displayed in reference number order, with records from the same collection grouped together. You can sort the hit list alphabetically by title or by description, by clicking on bar at the head of the column.

Individual record view

To view an individual record from the hit list, click on the specific record. You will be taken to the corresponding catalogue record. The search term will be highlighted.
For each record, contextual information will be displayed at the top of the screen, e.g. if the record being viewed is an individual item or file, details of the record series and collection to which it belongs will be provided.

From the record view, you can move to the next or previous record in the hit list using the arrows.

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