Enter a word or phrase to locate exact matches in the archive catalogue.
Our catalogue search uses full text retrieval (free text retrieval). This is a form of information retrieval in which the full text of the catalogue is stored, and retrieval is achieved by searching for occurrences of a given string in the text.
No search results?
Try alternative spellings of the same word, especially for place names and personal names.
Try a different word or phrase, for example soccer instead of football or gaol instead of jail, to extend your search.
Use ‘Advanced search: All of these Words’ to locate words that appear close together in a single catalogue entry, but not as a string.
Too many results?
Use Advanced search to refine your search criteria.
Enter a word or phrase in the Keyword box to locate exact matches in the catalogue.
To broaden relevant search results select the option to include Word Variations.
For example, a search for ‘colliery’ including word variations will find occurrences of ‘colliery’ and ‘collieries’.
A search for ‘fish’ including word variations will find occurrences of ‘fish’ and ‘fishing’.
All of these Words
Use this box to search for words that appear close together in the description of a single catalogue item, but not as a string.
For example, an ‘All of these Words’ search for ‘hunwick school’ will find Hunwick Council School, Hunwick Elementary School and so on.
Image Results Only
If you only want to search for collection items with images that you can view online, check the box to display Image Results Only.
Your Search Results will say how many images were found and the results list will display the images as a grid. You can also view image search results as a list, with up to 250 results per page.
Click on an image or link to see the full image details.
Refine search options
After you have entered your keyword(s) in one of the boxes, you can narrow your search to a particular catalogue or category of records by selecting one of the Refine Options.
Keyword ‘darlington’ plus Category: Education Records
Keyword ‘6th battalion’ plus Catalogue Title: Durham Light Infantry Records
Click ‘Search’ or press Enter to view the results of your search.
Understanding your Search Results
The Search Results screen tells you how many keyword matches have been found in how many catalogues.
The Results List (default view) is sorted A-Z by catalogue title. There is an option to sort the Results List by relevance, so that the catalogues with the most keyword matches appear first.
To view a complete catalogue, click on the Catalogue Title.
To view keyword matches only, click on the plus symbol +.
This will reveal reference links to the relevant catalogue items.
Click on a reference link to go direct to the item in the online catalogue.
You can scroll from here to browse other items in the same catalogue.