Searching the catalogue

There are three kinds of search to select from in the left hand sidebar. Use Simple search to search across both Library (printed and audio-visual material) and Archive (records, manuscripts and images) catalogues, or Advanced or Expert search to search only one of them, with a greater range of search options. See below for more information on these options and how to use them.

To start a new search from anywhere in the catalogue, click on the search tab at the top of the screen, When you see the new search screen, click the Clear button to remove your previous choices.

General tips

Your searches will be faster if you omit common words like "a", "the", "and", "of", "Quaker" and "Friend".

Avoid using punctuation in your search. Leave out marks such as !, ?, inverted commas and apostrophes. To find words containing the possessive apostrophe, whenever possible just type the word itself, e.g. to find "God's", type "God".

To search for names of people who are authors, creators or subjects, type in the surname first, e.g. "Fox, George". Alternatively just enter the surname.

Simple search

Click on the Simple search button in the column on the left to search across both Library and Archive catalogues. Simple search is good for titles and broad searches. If you want to search for a specific author/creator or subject, or a particular kind of material, use Advanced or Expert search.

1. By default, Simple search lets you search across both Library and Archive catalogues. To search only one of them, de-select the checkbox next to the one you don't want to search.

2. In the Search box, type the word or name on which you want to search. You can also search for the first part of a word, or for several words separated by spaces (to find items which each contain all those words). If you are searching for the name of an author or a subject, you will get more results if you enter the surname without the forename (e.g. Fox, not George Fox).

3. Click the Search button to start the search.

4. If you haven't already limited your search to the Library or Archive catalogue, by de-selecting one of the checkboxes (see 1 above) the results of your search will be displayed in a Results overview. Select View to see a list of records in either Library or Archive, or modify results to add another search word.

5. The list of records will be displayed in the Results tab. To narrow down your search, you can click the search in results option in the left hand column, and search further on another word.

6. To look at the results from the same search in the other catalogue (Library or Archive), click on the catalogue name in the Switch database box in the left hand column. This is only possible after performing a Simple search.

Advanced search

If you want to search on more than one term at a time, and specify in which fields these terms should occur, (for example only in the title of an archive collection, or in an author’s name), then Advanced search is better than Simple search.

Click the Advanced search button in the left hand column to be able to search on multiple words in specific fields in either Library or Archive catalogues.

1. Click the Search in drop-down list to open it, and choose either Library or Archive catalogue. In Advanced search you can only search one catalogue at a time and you cannot switch to results from the other catalogue.

2. The choice of search boxes depends on whether you have chosen the Library or Archive catalogue. Type the word or name on which you want to search in the relevant box. You may also type in the first few letters of a partial word, or leave fields empty.

Note that a word will only be searched in the relevant field in the catalogue, so if you enter “Nayler” in the author search box, the search will look for Nayler as an author, but not as a subject (If you want to search in multiple fields simultaneously on one word, use Simple search.)

Beside some search boxes you’ll find a button. Click on this button to look up all terms used in that field in the catalogue. Selecting from the list ensures you pick the correct form of name, and always get results. Opening the list also helps if you just want to search alphabetically.

For instance, in either Library or Archive catalogue you'll see a button beside the Subject term search box. Click on this button and a subject list opens. Use the browsing arrows to go back and forwards in the list. To start to browse from a certain part of the alphabet, enter a word or letter in the search box before clicking the button (e.g. type F and click the button to start browsing subjects starting with the letter F). Click on any term to copy it into your Subject term search box, ready to perform the search.

In fields that have no button, you can enter multiple words separated by spaces to retrieve items that include all those words in that field (e.g. titles containing all those words).

For more help on what information is included in each field, and for more search tips, click on the Help button beside any search box.

3. Use the Sort by and Sort order options to choose the order of your results.You can sort by author/creator or title (alphabetically ascending or descending i.e. A-Z or Z-A) or by date (ascending or descending, i.e. early to late or late to early). This is useful if your search generates a lot of results. Just click on the relevant Sort by/Sort order radio button.

NOTE: if you select Sort by author or creator, items with more than one author or creator will display once under each name in alphabetical order, so the search may appear to retrieve more results than if it were unsorted.

4. Use the Records per page option to select the maximum number of records shown per search result page.

5. Click the Search button to start the search.

Use the Clear button to erase all search terms on the screen and start again.

Expert search

If you are an experienced catalogue user, and you want to submit complex searches, then Expert search might be the appropriate search method for you.

Click the Expert search button in the left hand column to be able to search on multiple words and combine search statements using Boolean operators, or to limit a Library search to a particular dataset.

1. Choose either the Library catalogue (or one of its datasets) or the Archive catalogue from the Search in drop-down list. Within Library you can limit your search to Books (all monographic publications, including pamphlets), Articles Serials or Audio-Visual material, or select Library catalogue to search all types of publications. You cannot search both Library and Archive simultaneously.

2. In the drop-down list on the following line choose which field you want to search. Which fields are available depends on whether you are searching Library or Archive.

Depending on the field type, you can sometimes choose another operator than “=” in the drop-down list directly to the right of it. For example, for the Year field a drop-down list is available which includes “Between”, “>” (greater than), “<” (less than), “<=” (less than or equal to) and “>=” (greater than or equal to). You could use these to search on years after 1945, or before 1970, for example.

In the search box next to the operator, type the word, number or name on which you want to search. By default the search is truncated in most fields: it will retrieve records with the word or term you entered, but also longer words or terms starting with those letters (e.g. a search for title word "spirit" will also find "spirits", "spiritual" and "spirituous"). If you don't want the search to extend to longer words, de-select this option by clicking on the enable truncation checkbox.

For more help on what information is included in each field, and for more search tips, click on the Help button beside any search box.

3. To extend this search statement, click the + sign at the end of the search line to add another search line or lines. The separate search statements on each line are combined when you search, using the Boolean operator "AND" (the default), or you can change the operation by selecting "OR" or "AND NOT" from the drop-down list at the end of each search line. With “AND” a result must include both search terms; with “OR” a result must include at least one of the search terms; and with “AND NOT” a result must include the terms in the first search line but not in the second. The search statements are executed from top to bottom. This order is important when you combine search statements. The result of the first two lines will be combined with the third line, that result in turn will be combined with the fourth line, etc.

You may also leave lines empty or remove them by clicking the – sign at the end of the relevant line. As long as at least one value is filled in you can start the search.

4. Mark the Only records with images checkbox to limit your search to records with images attached.

5. Use the Sort by and Sort order options to choose the order of your results. You can sort them by author/creator or title (alhpabetically ascending or descending, i.e. A-Z or Z-A) or by date (ascending or descending, i.e. early to later or late to early). This is useful if your search generates a lot of results. Just click on the relevant Sort by/Sort order radio button.

NOTE: if you select Sort by author or creator, items with more than one author ir creator will display once under each name in alphabetical order, so the search may appear to retrieve more results than there are.

6. Use the Records per page option to select the maximum number of records shown per search result page.

7. Click the Search button to start the search.

Use the Clear button to erase the search terms on the screen and start again.