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How to search the database

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.

Advanced searching
If you think a quick search is likely to turn up too many results, clicking ‘Advanced search’ on the menu bar 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-’.

Search results
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 (i.e. how it relates to other records in the collection), click on ‘Reference no’.


George Grant Francis

George Grant Francis

The dedicated collector of archives, whose collections form the basis of the Royal Institution of South Wales archives.

"George Hawkins, Thief"

A fascinating set of photographs of criminals in Swansea Prison in Victorian times.
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