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Searching for Images

There are four methods of searching the site for images, these are:

  • Quick Search
  • Subjects Search
  • Index Search
  • Advanced Search

Quick Search

When a word or phrase is typed into the box and the Go button clicked, the search looks for that word or phrase in all the data associated with each record throughout the database.


The wildcard (%) can be used in place of unknown characters or to widen the search, for example:

  • print% will find 'print', 'prints', 'printer', etc.

Boolean Operators

When you are searching for more than one word or wish to exclude specific words from the search you can use boolean operators - AND, OR and NOT. Use these to specify whether a result set must contain all terms, any terms, or not the specified term, for example:

  • african AND card - all items returned must contain both 'africa' and 'card'.
  • african OR card - all items returned must contain either 'africa' or 'card'.
  • africa NOT card - all items returned will contain 'africa and must not contain 'card'.

Subjects Search

Each record has one or more subject keywords associated with it and each subject keyword describes an attribute or property of the image. These keywords are organised within a hierarchical directory structure of folders and subfolders, each succeeding level becoming more specific. You can browse this keyword hierarchy using the Subjects Search page:

  • Click on a subject/keyword folder to display the subjects & keywords within the folder.
  • Click on a subject/keyword name to display its associated sub-keywords.

Index Search

This is an alphabetical list of all the bottom-level keywords, allowing you to pick a subject directly without having to navigate the hierarchy in the Subjects Search page. Use the letters on the left to list subject keywords starting with a particular letter. Once you have found the item of interest click on the link to find the related images.

Advanced Search

If you already know some details of the image you require then you can get a more direct result by using the Advanced Search. Enter the data in one or more of the fields. Being as specific as possible will help generate a meaningful set of results.

Note that if you enter data into more than one field the search will only return items that contain all of the specified data.

Selections Page

Every image or image thumbnail in a search result has a checkbox associated with it. Clicking in this box toggles a tick mark which determines the image's selected status. The Selections page is accessible from the navigation bar and shows all the currently 'ticked' images. To remove an image from the Selections page, simply click the checkbox and remove the tick. If the page is refreshed the image will no longer appear on the Selections page. Finally, the 'Clear All Selections' link will remove the tick from all the images on the Selections page.

Previous Searches

The Previous Searches page shows a history of all the searches you perform in a chronological list. To view the results of a search simply click on the link. This function is session-based; closing the browser will clear all Previous Searches.

Search Results


Results of searches are returned in the form of a gallery or list of thumbnail images. To view image information, click on a thumbnail to access the Item Record page. The number of thumbnail images displayed on can be changed by entering a number in the 'Display xx items' box. Navigation between pages is done by either using the Previous and Next arrow buttons or by entering the required page number in the page number field and hitting return. The page includes a 'crumb trail', this displays the type of search used to generate the current page.

Clicking on the checkbox to show a red tick mark will add an image to the Selections page. Clicking to remove the red tick mark will remove the image from the Selections page.

Item Record page

The Item Record page displays the reference-sized image and the corresponding data. Any related items or Subjects that the item appears under are also displayed. An example of a relationship could be that a page is related to the book it is taken from and a book is related to a page it contains.

It is possible to select the image (adding it to the Selections page) from the Item Record page, view a higher resolution image, email the page as a link, or download the image. Navigation between Item Record pages can be done by either using the Previous and Next arrow buttons or by entering the required page number in the page number field and pressing return. The Item Record page also includes a 'crumb trail' which displays the type of search used to generate the gallery in which the image was found, allowing you to backtrack to the gallery containing the current item.