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Search Help


How does the search work?

The search on Discover finds: items from a range of library, museum and archives (sometimes these include images or audio files and sometimes it is information about collections as a whole).

Searching is easy, just enter your search term and click go (or press "enter"). Discover will display a list of matching results. Click on the title to view more information about a particular resource. You can then visit the website of the item to find out more about it, look at other results, or search again for something else.



What search term should I use?

It's often best to start by picking a single word. For example, if you are interested in finding out about the history of your town, you could start by entering the name of your town for example "Nottingham" and clicking "go".

It can be useful to enter more words to help narrow down your search. For example, if you are only interested in a particular place in or near your town like "Sherwood Forest", you could try "Sherwood Forest" or "Sherwood nottingham".

It doesn't matter whether you use capital letters or not, the Discover search treats "forest", "Forest" and even "fOrEsT" as the same word.



How can I improve the results I find?

If you don't find the results you are expecting:

  • try using fewer words (e.g. "cricket" instead of "cricket teams", or "Sheffield" instead of "information about the history of Sheffield"
  • try using related terms (e.g. "advert" or "advertising" instead of "marketing")
  • try using the detailed search



What is the detailed search?

The detailed search page allows you to more precisely state what you are searching for. There are a number of different options to search by, and these can be used in combination with each other. The detailed search will try to find results that match all of the options you use, with the "Refine by collection" option letting you search for items from specific collection(s).

If you're having trouble finding the information you need or if you'd just prefer to ask someone directly, you could try using our Enquire service. Enquire instantly connects you to library staff trained to help you find answers to your questions. Best of all the service is free and anyone can use it at any time! To find out more about Enquire, visit the Enquire homepage.




  The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

  Grosvenor House

  14 Bennetts Hill


  B2 5RS

  tel: +44 (0)121 345 7300