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Simple Search

To perform a simple search type your search term into the box in the top right and click the Search button (e.g. Wingrave Manor House). This will display a list of matches containing all these words (e.g. Wingrave Manor House and Manor House, Wingrave). For matches containing all the words in the order you have specified add quotation marks (e.g. “Wingrave Manor House”).

Click the underlined text in the ‘RefNo’ field for more information on a result. The simple search only searches the main parts of each catalogue entry, so if you don’t find what you are looking for you can try the advanced search.

Advanced Search

The advanced search is found on the horizontal bar above the image of the seals. Using the ‘Any Text’ search box is the most comprehensive way of searching the catalogue. If you are interested only in records for a particular period you can add years, for example ‘1800-1900’ in the ‘date’ box - but keep in mind that this might exclude other records of interest.

If you know the reference number you can search on the ‘RefNo’ field, though the system is very particular about spacing and the correct placement of “-“ and “/” in the references so searching by text may be easier.

Both the ‘Title’ and ‘Description’ fields are searched by ‘Any Text’ but can be searched individually as well. ‘Title’ gives a broad description of the item (e.g. ‘Register of burials in woollen Amersham’) and ‘Description’ expands on this where required (e.g. ‘At the end of register specimen certificates for touching for Kings Evil and lists of those to whom issued 1685-8 & 1714’). For deeds, ‘Description’ is used to give parties to the deed and property involved.

AccNo searches for the accession number (the number allocated when a collection first comes to us) rather than the number assigned after cataloguing. If you have a reference starting ‘AR’, enter it here and the search will show you everything under that accession number that has been catalogued. If the accession has not yet been catalogued the search will return no results. You can contact us for further details of non-catalogued items.

Level allows you to specify whether you only want to see the outline details of a particular collection and its creator rather than the contents of it (by selecting ‘Collection’ here) or only those for items within the collection (by selecting ‘Item’). Collection records frequently include details like genealogical information (for family and estate collections) or brief company histories (for business collections).

Selecting ‘Refine Search Criteria’ will allow you to change whether the catalogue searches for all the search terms you input, to exclude a term or to perform a search that matches at least one of the terms you input.

Search Tips

Wild card

Using a 'wild card' (*) in the middle or end of your search will make it more flexible. A search for A*sham with return matches including ‘Amersham’ and variant spelling ‘Agmondesham’. A search for Syr* will find records including the name Syrett but also variants Syret, Syratt, and Syred.

Searching an individual collection

You can use Advanced Search to limit matches to particular collections. To find matches only from the Chesham parish collection for instance, enter ‘Chesham’ in ‘Any Text Field’ and ‘pr*’ in the RefNo field. For a list of the collections available, see 'What is in the Catalogue'

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