Using the catalogue
How to get the best out of searching the catalogues.
Making a quick search
The simplest way to search the database is to enter a search term into the box at the top right of the screen and click the search button next to it.
If you think a quick search is likely to turn up too many results, click 'Search the catalogue' above. This will give you the option of searching on particular fields within the database, as well an "any text" word search. Some of the boxes on the Advanced Search page have a link entitled "Refine search criteria". Clicking this will give you extra searching options.
Broadening your search
Searching will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so if you haven't found what you wanted it's often best to try several related terms. So, if you are searching for material relating to Neath Harbour, try related words like 'ships', 'shipping', 'boats', 'maritime', 'dock'.
You can also search for part of a word by using a wildcard (*); so 'Ship*' will bring up 'Ship', 'Shipping', 'Ships', and any other word beginning 'Ship-'. Please note that our catalogues are only available in one language. Some of them are in Welsh (where the language of the original records is in Welsh), but the majority are in English.
The results of your search will be displayed in a table. If required, you can reorder the list of results according to the field of your choice by clicking on the column heading.
Click on a record in the results hitlist to see a more detailed description. A hierarchical chart above it will show the position of the record in its context within the collection. To return to the search results overview, use the 'back' button on your browser.
If you would like to see the record in its hierarchical context (ie how it relates to other records in the collection), click on 'Reference no'.