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How do I search the catalogue?

There are three search options: Basic, Advanced and Places

Basic search

The Basic search box is in the top right-hand corner of the home page. Using this you can search the Title and Description field of all the records in the catalogue.

Advanced search

Hover over the 'Advanced search' button on the toolbar to search the entire catalogue. This option allows you to carry out more refined/detailed searches by searching multiple fields at once, e.g. Any Text and Date fields.

The search results are displayed under four headings: HALS Ref No (document ordering number), Title, Description and Date. Click on one of these headings to sort your results. Click anywhere on a result to see a fuller description and the overview of a record's position in the collection's hierarchy. Generally, the lowest item in the records hierarchy will be the item which you can order. For more information on the different fields, see the Glossary.

Please note that the Online Archive Catalogue is not intuitive and so does not search for variant spellings. If your search is unsuccessful, please try alternative spellings or other terms and phrases. Remember the more detail you put in, the more precise your search results will be.

Note: The Basic and Advanced options accept search terms like 'And', 'Not' and 'Or'

Places search

Hover over the Advanced Search button on the toolbar to access the place index. Use this facility to see what kind of records we have for a particular place, parish or county. Once you have entered the place name and clicked search, select the link to 'Show related catalogue records'. Select a record for more details.

Please note that not all collections have been indexed by place name. You can also search by place in the Any Text field of Advanced Search.

Please watch out for spellings. We have used modern spellings of place names in this index, e.g. Bishops Stortford (without an apostrophe) and Berkhamsted, rather than Great Berkhampstead.

If you cannot find the record or collection you are looking for, please see 'useful links' for other possible sources. Alternatively, you can contact us as the collection may be uncatalogued or not yet available online.

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