What are acceptable searches?

This section provides tips for getting the most from all the Advanced Search features and Search Results.

Advanced Search

Search Fields

If you wish to search across all available fields use the “Any Text” field.

You can narrow this search down to look for words only in specific fields.
These fields are:



Reference Number

Alternative Reference Number



For a definition of the above fields please see the Glossary.

By default, a search will only bring up records with all the entered search words present.

For example, if “Conwy” is entered in the “Title” field and “Parish” in the “Description” field, only records containing both Conwy and Parish (in the respective fields) will be found. Records containing just one of these words will not be shown in the search results.

Refine advanced search criteria

For more specific searching the default search criteria can be changed by clicking the “Refine Search Criteria” option. This is found directly below the “Title”, “Description” and “Any Text” search fields. There are three ways to refine the search option:

• With all the words
• With at least one of the words
• Without the words

If you enter “Conwy” and “Parish” in the “With at least one of the words” field, the search results will bring up records with either Conwy or Parish in or a combination of the two.

If you enter “Conwy” and “Parish” in the “Without the words” field, the search results will bring up records which do not include either word.

A “With all the words” search will bring up the same results as a default standard search.

Searching on picklist fields

If the field on which you are searching is a "picklist" field (a field in which the content is restricted to a limited list), it will appear with a drop down list from which you can select your search term.

For example the “Level” search field gives you the choice of bringing up either whole “Collection” level entries, “Sections/Series” within a collection or individual “Item” levels within a collection. Please refer to the glossary for definitions.

If you wish to begin a new search press ‘clear’ and start again.

Search Results

Once you have carried out a search the results will present themselves in a list, giving you a reference number, title, description and the approximate size or “Extent” of each hit.

You can arrange your results either by reference number, title, description or extent simply by clicking the individual fields at the top of the screen.

For more details on each hit, simply click on them. This will provide you with more information, including a date range and the level. If no information has been entered into a field, it will not appear.

If you click on the reference number (“Ref No”) it will show you the result within its wider hierarchical context, giving you a clearer idea of whether you are looking at an individual item or a whole collection. This “Hierarchy Tree” can also be used to browse a collection. The top of the tree describes the whole collection, which in turn filters down to individual sections within which are individual items.
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