Help with searches

See detailed advice below under each heading.

Advanced Search

Use this option to search particular fields including Short Title, Full Description, Artist, Date, Format, Owner, Period, Photographer, Place, Publisher, Reference number, Subject and Black & white/colour. Follow the instructions next to and inside the search boxes.

By default, the Boolean "And" is assumed, for example if you enter Train in the Title field and Station in the Description field, only records containing both 'Train' and 'Station' (in the respective fields) will be found. Records containing just one of these words will not be shown in the search results.

Quick Search

The simple search searches for words in the title and description fields of the database. It is accessed via the "Google-style" search box in the top banner.

    Quick Search examples:

    Arundel, Steyning High Street, Victorian Transport, Edwardian Children, 1920

Typing * at the beginning or end of a word broadens the search, e.g. fish* finds fish, fisherman, fishermen, fishing, fishing boats, fishmonger(s).

Boolean "and, or, not" searching options:

+ represents Boolean And, meaning the search result must include this word

- represents Boolean Not, meaning the search result must exclude this word

| represents Boolean Or, meaning the search result may include this word

Place one of these symbols before a word or phrase to apply it. If no symbols are used, Boolean "And" is assumed. *NB type a space before and after the symbol*

For example:

Railway - Station

Searches all configured fields for the word 'Railway' and excludes any records with the word 'Station' from the search results.

Typing a field name followed by a colon then a search term, means only that particular field will be searched. If no field names are specified, all configured fields are searched.

For example:


Searches for the word 'Railway' in the Title field only, whereas:


Searches all configured fields for the word 'Railway'.

It is important to enter search words/phrases carefully to ensure you find the intended results.

For example:

Title:Railway Station

Searches for records which have the word 'Railway' in the Title field and the word 'Station' in ANY configured field.

Use (double) quotes around a search term to return exact matching phrases.

For example:

"Railway Station"

Searches all configured fields only for the exact phrase 'Railway Station' i.e. the two words together with a space between, in the specified order.

For example:

Railway Station

Searches all configured fields for the words 'Railway' and 'Station' anywhere i.e. not necessarily next to each other or in the specified order.

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