How to search the manuscripts catalogue

How to search the manuscripts catalogue

Three types of searches are available:

  • Name (retrieves collection and/or detailed catalogue records)
  • Document (retrieves detailed catalogue records)
  • Collection (retrieves collection-level records only)

Name Search

If you want to search for a person:

  • Enter surname in the Surname box, eg Wilde
  • Enter first name or initial in the Forenames box (optional)
  • Click on the Search button

If you want to search for a business or organisation:

  • Enter the start of or full name in the Name box eg Royal Society
  • Click on the Search button

Search results:

  • Choose an entry by clicking on a name or follow the links directly to relevant collection records/all items

Further Name search options

Narrowing search by Role (optional):

  • The default setting (No Specific Role) searches for all records relating to a person.
  • If you want to narrow your search to material written by a person, excluding material which simply refers to them, select ‘author’ from the drop-down menu.
  • Other useful Roles to select are ‘recipient’ and ‘subject’.

Limiting search by ‘after’ and ‘before’ dates (optional):

  • Eg, enter 1913 in the ‘after’ box and 1919 in the ‘before’ box to restrict your Name search to material relating to the period of the first world war.

Narrowing search by Gender (optional):

  • Select relevant Gender if you wish to restrict your search to females or males.

Searching for correspondence between specific people:

  • You can search for letters between two people by using both sets of search boxes.
  • Eg, enter Wilde in the upper Surname box and select Role as ‘author’, enter Whistler in the lower Surname box and select Role as ‘recipient’.

Document Search

You can carry out a number of different searches, eg:

  • Check the catalogue record for material with a specific call number.
  • Search for material using a word or phrase.
  • Search for material from a particular place.
  • Limit your search by date, format, language or country.
  • Search using a combination of the above.
  • Change the order in which search results appear (eg, by date).

Call Number search box:

  • Enter a call number to retrieve the catalogue record for a specific item, eg: MS Hunter 110
  • Click on the Search button

Word (or Phrase) search box:

  • This option searches the descriptions given in the catalogue records, eg: paint will retrieve records with descriptions including the words 'paint', 'painters' and 'painting'. (Do not use * to truncate.)
  • It can be useful to search for alternative words or phrases because terminology in record descriptions may differ, eg: search for
    prison                  OR
    jail

Title:

  • Currently, this is most useful when searching for first lines of poems or songs. You could also try a Word (or Phrase) search.

Language, Document Type and Country:

  • Choose from the drop-down lists.

Year of Creation:

  • Eg, enter 1699 in the ‘after’ box and 1800 in the ‘before’ box to restrict your search to material dating from the seventeenth century.
  • Tip: select Sorted by Date from the drop-down menu.

Combination searching:

  • Combine different options to perform more specific searches, eg to look for material produced in Rome between 1920 and 1940:
          Place: Rome
          Year of Creation after: 1919 and before: 1941
  • Restrict your search to a particular collection by entering the first part of the call number eg
          Call Number: MS MacColl
          Word or phrase: exhibition
          Year After: 1911 and Before: 1913
  • Tip: it is advisable to set other criteria eg date/word or phrase if searching by a common term and/or the call number of a large collection.)

Search results:

  • Choose an entry by clicking on the Call Number of the relevant entry
  • Catalogue records may contain images, links to useful websites and names of relevant people.

Collection Search

You can use this search to:

  • Browse through a collection for which you have the call number.
  • Search for material which has not yet been fully catalogued.

Call Number search box:

  • Enter a call number to retrieve a specific collection record, eg: MS Whistler
  • Click on the Search button
  • This option retrieves the summary collection record, containing links to more detailed catalogue records where available.

Word (or Phrase) search box:

  • This option searches the descriptions given in the catalogue records.
  • You may want to try the Search by subject guide to our collections.

Year of Creation:

Eg, enter 1950 in the ‘after’ box and 2000 in the ‘before’ box to restrict your search to collections dating from the later twentieth century.