- Quick A-Zs
- Support us
How to search
There are many ways to search this archive and it can seem a little daunting at first. Please take time to read this guide - and practice some the methods. You'll be rewarded with more accurate searches and get less of the stuff thst you're not really looking for.
Enter the word(s) you want to look for in the Search Box at the top right of your screen, and click on the magnifying glass to start the search.
The simple search finds an Exact Match for all words entered. Note! If you use a short word like 'pet' a simple search will also find 'Pete', 'petal' and 'trumpet'.
You can amend the Simple Search by clicking on the three dots in the search box to reveal more specific search parameters.
Keyword: Similar to Google Search, a keyword search returns results ordered by relevance. Searching on "road sign" will prioritise records that contain the full string "road sign", but will also include records that contain the individual words "road" or "sign".
Boolean: Allows greater fine-tuning than keyword searching, but does not return results by relevance. To do a Boolean search, add the following symbols at the beginning or end of words in the search string:
- +: A plus sign at the beginning of a word indicates that it must be present in all results returned.
- -: A minus sign at the beginning of a word indicates that it should not be present in any of results returned.
- *: An asterisk appended to the end of a word serves as a truncation or "wildcard" operator. Results are returned where there is a match with the word preceding the asterisk.
- ": Using double quotation marks around words or a phrase returns results which contain the exact words or phrase as typed.
Exact match: This is the default Simple Search (see above)
City, Town, or Village search
Select the Town A-Z on the menu bar, scroll through the list and click on your choice.
Subject and Events A-Z search
Select either on the menu bar, scroll through the alphabetical list and click on your choice. These preset searches are curated so they may not display all items in the archive for any given search.
Select Search on the menu bar and choose Tag search, scroll through the list of keywords our images have been tagged with, and click on your choice.
Note: Street names, Monuments, Landmarks, Nams etc. are not included in Keywords - you'll find these in Tiles and Descriptions (Advanced search).
Select Search on the menu bar and choose Advanced search. This allows you to combine several options to refine your search.
Select Search on the menu bar and choose Map search.
Note: Locations may only be accurate to within 50-100 metres and may reflect the position from which the image was taken.
Full instructions are available on the Map search page
Note to researchers: We restrict some sensitive metadata in public view. If you're a bona fide researcher and wish to see the full details for all items, please contact us for information on how to obtain researcher rights.
Examples (using box at the very top of the page)
Finds exact matches for your entry.2015-07 > photos in July 2015
Frank Woolrych > photos of our friend Frank
Church Street > photos of Church Street (whatever the town!)
hat > photos with a hat in them (but you'll also get photos of thatch and hatchery - so be careful with short words)
Keyword search:you can change it to this by clicking the three dots on the right of the box
Church Street > photos of Church Street (but you'll also get photos with a Church and with a Street - you could get a lot)
Boolean search:you can change it to this by clicking the three dots on the right of the box
With a boolean search you can add +, - and * to refine things.
banjo male > photos with a banjo in and photos with a male in.
+banjo +male > only photos with both a banjo and a male in them)
+banjo -male > only photos with a banjo in and with no male in them)
uk* > photos with anything starting with uk in them (useful if you can't spell ukulele).
Advanced searchMuch more sophisticated - you can still enter keywords, but you can choose to look for those keywords in certain 'fields' (e.g. title, description), only in certain collections (of towns/cities) and you can search by location (street name, town, county). You can also use AND and OR in the field searches
You can access the Advanced search on the menu bar and you'll find a brief guide for each section on the form.