How Do I Search the Catalogue?

There are two main ways to search the catalogue: simple and advanced search.

Simple search (Find a Record)

The simple search is accessed via the “Google-style” search box on the Home page. By default, the simple search will search across the Title and Description fields. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search.

Advanced search

The advanced search enables you to search specifically on certain fields.

By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However, you can choose to change the default search criteria by clicking the “Refine Search Criteria” option. There are three ways to refine the search option:

With all the words.

With at least one of the words.

Without the words.

Search Tips

You may use the asterisk "*" to truncate your search terms. e.g. "parish*" (which would bring up parish and parishes).

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in inverted commas, e.g. "Aveling Barford".

Reference Number

RefNo can be used if you know the exact reference number of the collection or items you are looking for.

Reference numbers must be enclosed in quotations e.g. "Harmston Par/1/1" or "Harmston Par1/*"

Date field

Enter a year (e.g. 1911) or a date range (e.g. 1911-1914). Please always enter the date with four digits.

Please note that the catalogue will retrieve records having date ranges overlapping with and in proximity to those you enter.

As a short cut you can enter the start year followed by a hyphen to retrieve all records from that date to the end of the decade e.g. 1910- will find everything where the date field in the record includes dates in the range 1910-1919


Your results are produced as four columns: Ref No, Alternative Reference, Title and Date. To see more details of any result, click anywhere in the entry.

To open up the entire selected Collection in its ‘hierarchy view’, click on the underlined Ref no. field in your search result. You can then click on ‘+’ to open more records within that collection.

How do I sort the records in the 'search results' hitlist?

By default, records are presented in Finding Number order but you can sort the list of results according to the field of your choice by clicking on the column heading.

How can I find out more information about an entry displayed in the 'search results' hitlist?

To view a full record description, click on the Ref No. for the entry you require.

If you then want to browse the record in its hierarchical context (i.e. how it relates to other records in the collection), click on Ref No. again.

Use the back button on your browser to return to the search results overview.

How can I view images from a particular parish register?

The following document lists individual parish registers images where they are available via the archives online catalogue.