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How do I search the database?

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 for into the search box. If 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 enter the text with double quotation marks, for example "Dominic Corrigan".

2. Advanced search

To undertake an advanced search, click on the 'Advanced Search' button in the left hand bar. This allows you to search all records across various fields;

Any text

Use this field to search across all the text fields in the catalogue database. If 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, for example "Dominic Corrigan".

Simply type the word or words you wish to search for into the 'any text' search box, and click on the 'Search' button at the bottom of the screen.

Title and Description ('Refine Search Criteria')

If you wish to narrow down your search, instead of choosing the AnyText 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'. This gives you three options: to search only for records that contain all of your search terms ('all words'), to search for records that contain at least one, but not necessarily all, of your search terms ('any words') or to exclude from your search certain words or phrases that you are not interested in and that might otherwise be called up by the search criteria that you have chosen ('exclude words'). For example, if you wish to do a broad sweep search for anything relating to metal industries but have no interest in iron, you could enter 'metal industry' as your search term and choose to exclude 'iron' from your search.

Reference Number

If you know the Reference Number (RefNo) of a particular collection or the specific item you require, you can enter it in this search field.

Level

As well as detailed descriptions of individual documents, the online catalogue includes descriptions of entire collections. This field has a drop down list to allow you to select one of the available terms used in the catalogue database.

Date

You can narrow your search down to a particular date, or a date range (e.g. 1837, 1910-1950, or 18th century).

Term

Each record has a set of index terms attached to it. These can either describe the type of records (e.g. photographs) or the subject of the record (e.g. obstetrics).

PERSONS SEARCH

This can be used to search the catalogue for individuals or corporate bodies, using the index of names created during cataloguing. Given the variation in spellings of personal names it is best to search by surname only, and to be aware that you may have to try a couple of different variations of spelling.

Also if a corporate body has under gone various name changes it may be necessary to check all variations, in most cases the most up to date version of the name is used, e.g. Royal College of Physicians of Ireland not King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland.

Searches can also be made by;

  • Date – which will highlight all individuals or corporations active at a certain time
  • Epithet – this gives some information on what the person was principally known for, e.g. physician, surgeon, medical practitioner

How is the information from a search presented?

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

  • Ref Number – the number you will need to order a document
  • Level - where the record is within a collection
  • Title
  • Date

How do I search the database?

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 for into the search box. If 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 enter the text with double quotation marks, for example "Dominic Corrigan".

2. Advanced Search

To undertake an advanced search, click on the 'Advanced Search' button in the left hand bar. This allows you to search all records across various fields;

Any text

Use this field to search across all the text fields in the catalogue database. If 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, for example "Dominic Corrigan".

Simply type the word or words you wish to search for into the 'any text' search box, and click on the 'Search' button at the bottom of the screen.

Title and Description ('Refine Search Criteria')

If you wish to narrow down your search, instead of choosing the AnyText 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'. This gives you three options: to search only for records that contain all of your search terms ('all words'), to search for records that contain at least one, but not necessarily all, of your search terms ('any words') or to exclude from your search certain words or phrases that you are not interested in and that might otherwise be called up by the search criteria that you have chosen ('exclude words'). For example, if you wish to do a broad sweep search for anything relating to metal industries but have no interest in iron, you could enter 'metal industry' as your search term and choose to exclude 'iron' from your search.

Reference Number

If If you know the Reference Number (RefNo) of a particular collection or the specific item you require, you can enter it in this search field.

Level

As well as detailed descriptions of individual documents, the online catalogue includes descriptions of entire collections. This field has a drop down list to allow you to select one of the available terms used in the catalogue database.

Date

You can narrow your search down to a particular date, or a date range (e.g. 1837, 1910-1950, or 18th century).

Term

Each record has a set of index terms attached to it. These can either describe the type of records (e.g. photographs) or the subject of the record (e.g. obstetrics).

3. Person Search

This can be used to search the catalogue for individuals or corporate bodies, using the index of names created during cataloguing. Given the variation in spellings of personal names it is best to search by surname only, and to be aware that you may have to try a couple of different variations of spelling.

Also if a corporate body has under gone various name changes it may be necessary to check all variations, in most cases the most up to date version of the name is used, e.g. Royal College of Physicians of Ireland not King and Queen's College of Physicians in Ireland.

Searches can also be made by;

  • Date – which will highlight all individuals or corporations active at a certain time
  • Epithet

How is the information presented?

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

  • Ref Number – the number you will need to order a document
  • Level - where the record is within a collection
  • Title
  • Date

The total number of catalogue records retrieved will be given at the top of the display; if your search has retrieved more than 10 records, use the Next, Previous, Start and End links at the top of the screen to view all the records in the search results.

Please note that the search term(s) may not appear in the text displayed in the search results; if not, it will appear in the more detailed catalogue descriptions which can be viewed by clicking on the Ref Number.

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

By default, records in the search results are presented in Finding Number 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?

By clicking anywhere on the text of a particular entry, the full description and all other relevant information will be displayed. Click on the Ref Number if you then want to see the record in its hierarchical context (i.e. how it relates to other records in the collection) and to see other records in the same collection.