Advanced search tips

How does the search work?

For an entry to be found and displayed within the search results, it must match all the fields that are used for searching.

Field values

The "Title number" and "Page number" are represented by numerical values, where "Volume number", "Owner's name" and "County or Parish" can be a combination of letters and numbers.

The "Title number", "Volume number" and "Page number" fields must be matched exactly. For example, if you search for a book with "2", you will only get images for that particular book and not for books "21" or "12".

The "Owner's name" and "County or parish" fields can support advanced search options.

Advanced search

Search options

The "Owner's name" and "County or parish" fields support various search options. By default, all words in a field need to be matched and they need to be matched exactly. For example, if you search for an owner's name with "John Lloyd", you will only see results for entries that have both words.

If you want to widen your search, you can do this under "Search options". By selecting the "Match any word" option, the search will return all entries that contain any of words in the search field. For example, if you typed in "John Lloyd", you would see results for "Tim Lloyd" and "John Smith".

Select "Match words partially" to treat each word used within a search as a part of a longer word, starting with the word used for searching. For example, if you typed in "John Lloyd", you would also see results for "Johnny Lloyd".

Use "Results per page" to select how many results are shown on a page.

Search operators

Advanced queries can be performed by using the AND and OR operators and * symbol within the text that you enter. When using these search operators, any selected search options will not be used.

By default, all search words are matched, for example, a search:

Robert Smith

is the same as search:

Robert AND Smith

and it will find all items that contain both "Robert" and "Smith".

It is also possible to search for any of the provided words by using the "OR" operator, e.g. a search:

Robert OR Smith

will find all items that contain either "Robert" or "Smith".

Wildcard searches are also supported, e.g. a search:


will find all entries with words that starts with "Rob", for example, "Rob", "Robert", "Roberta".

Using the operator NOT we can select which words we do not want in our results. Operator NOT can also be expressed by a hyphen ("-"), for example, a search:

Robert -Smith

will find all entries that contain word "Robert" and don't contain the word "Smith".

You are not limited to one operator, so the search queries you construct can be as complex as you want. If you want to find results that either include a word starting with "Rob" and don't contain the word "Smith", or include the word "John":

Rob* -Smith OR John