How do I search the catalogue?

Brief guide to searching
There are two main ways to search the database, quick and advanced searching.

Quick search
The quick search is accessed via the “Google-style” search box in the top left hand corner of the CalmView page.

By default, the quick search will search across the Title and Description fields. Where more than one term is entered, the default is an AND search.

See the “What are acceptable searches?” page for samples of simple searches.

Advanced search
The advanced search enables you to perform “Any text Field” searches, and also to search specifically on certain fields

Refine advanced search criteria
By default, a search will look for the word or words you have entered. However you can choose to change the default search criteria by clicking the “Refine Search Criteria” option. There are three ways to refine the search option:

With all the words

With at least one of the words

Without the words

Searching on picklist fields
If the field on which you are searching is a “picklist” field (a field in which the content is restricted to a limited list) it will appear with a drop down list from which you can select your search term.

Searching Terms or Subjects
The Term and/or Subject fields may be options on the advanced search page.

Subject and Term may link to separate “authority file” databases from which you can select a subject or a term to search on.

To search in the subject and term fields, you can either:

Type a word into the Term search field and click Search

Type a word into the Term search field and click the [Terms] button to the right of the field.

If the term you have entered exists in the authority file the term will be displayed along with any broader, narrower, related terms. It is then possible to browse across other terms. When you click Select, the term currently selected will copy across to the Advanced Search screen. If the term you have entered does not exist in the authority file you will have the option to either go back to the Advanced Search screen or browse all the top level terms.

See the “What are acceptable searches?” page for samples of advanced searches

 

How do I use the different fields in the advanced search?

Any text
Words typed into this field will be searched for in all the catalogue record fields.

Collection title
This is the title of the collection e.g. Sir Joseph Hooker Papers. If you are searching for a specific collection, type the name into here. However, please note that papers relating to that individual might be held in other collections.

Item title
This is the title of a particular item, usually a volume or file within a collection at “file level” e.g. “Letters to J D Hooker ACL-BAL” or “Antarctic Manuscript”

Description
This is a description of what is in the volume or file in “file level” records. At “collection level”, it is a summary description of the papers within a particular collection.

Format
The format of the item e.g. manuscript papers, videos. This field has a drop-down pick list for you to select from.

Level
Archive collections are catalogued at varying levels. Level is the term for where the catalogue record sits within the catalogue structure. At Kew we use collection, series and file levels. See the glossary for descriptions of what these are [link to glossary]. If you are searching for the summary record (i.e. the collection level record) of a collection, select “collection” from the drop-down menu. If you want to see only file/volume level records, select “file” from the menu.

Reference number
This will take the format of BOR/1/1 and is what is used to identify and retrieve a particular item within a collection. You will need this to order the item in the reading room or to order copies from us. To search using this, you will need to enter the exact reference number in this field e.g. JDH/1/1/1 [is this right?!]

Subject
Subject headings are included in some of the catalogue records, enabling you to search for records relating to a particular subject. However, please note that not all records have these added to them. Plant names are also included in this field, although again not all records have these. You can also do a free text search for plant names in the “any text” field.

Place name
Place name headings are included in some of the catalogue records, enabling you to search for records relating to a particular geographical location. Generally, only country and/or continent have been included. However, please note that not all records have these added to them.

Date
This is the date, or date range, of the item or collection. You can enter a specific date or a date range when searching e.g. 1837, 1910-1950, or 18th century.

Reference number
This will take the format of BOR/1/1 and is what is used to identify and retrieve a particular item within a collection. You will need this to order the item in the reading room or to order copies from us. To search using this, you will need to enter the exact reference number in this field e.g. JDH/1/1

Place name
Place name headings are included in some of the catalogue records, enabling you to search for records relating to a particular geographical location. Generally, only country and/or continent have been included. However, please note that not all records have these added to them.

 

What are acceptable searches?

Quick Search
The quick search searches for words in the title and description fields of the Catalogue database. It is accessed via the “Google-style” search box in the top left hand corner of the CalmView page.

Type the word you wish to search for into the box and click the Search button.

You may wish to combine search terms in your simple searches using the Boolean “and, or, not” searching options:

+ represents Boolean And, meaning the search result must include this word
- represents Boolean Not, meaning the search result must exclude this word
| represents Boolean Or, meaning the search result may include this word

Place one of these symbols before a word or phrase to apply it. If no symbols are used, Boolean “And” is assumed.

For example:
Plant –collecting
searches all configured fields for the word 'Plant' and excludes any records with the word 'collecting' from the search results.

Typing a field name followed by a colon then a search term, means only that particular field will be searched. If no field names are specified, all configured fields are searched.

For example:
Title:Hooker
Searches for the word ‘Hooker’ in the Title field only, whereas:

William Hooker
Searches all configured fields for the word 'Hooker'.
It is important to enter search words/phrases carefully to ensure you find the intended results.

For example:
Title:William Hooker
Searches for records which have the word ‘William’ in the Title field and the word 'Hooker' in ANY configured field.

Use (double) quotes around a search term to return exact matching phrases.

For example:
"William Hooker"
Searches all configured fields only for the exact phrase 'William Hooker' i.e. the two words together with a space between, in the specified order.

For example:
William Hooker
searches all configured fields for the words 'William' and 'Hooker' anywhere i.e. not necessarily next to each other or in the specified order.

Advanced Search
Unlike quick searches, advanced searches do not require you to enter command syntax such as the Boolean symbols or to specify field names.
Follow the on-screen annotations next to and inside the search entry boxes. These provide guidance on performing searches for records containing all the words entered, records containing at least one of the words entered or records without the words entered.
By default, the Boolean “And” is assumed, for example if you enter Joseph in the Title field and Hooker in the Description field, only records containing both 'Joseph' and 'Hooker' (in the respective fields) will be found, records containing just one of these words will not be shown in the search results.

 

What is in the catalogue?

The archive catalogue contains entries describing the collections held in the archives. A small number of the more important collections have been listed to file or volume level, but most have a collection level record, summarising what is contained in each collection.

We are working to add summary records for all our personal collections i.e. those collections that relate to a particular individual, but are not necessarily “personal” in nature – they may relate to the individual’s work or research. However, please note that not all collections are included in the catalogue, as this is in progress.

The archives catalogue is currently not comprehensive and many of Kew’s official papers are not included in the catalogue. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the archives staff.

Published books, journals, pamphlets and artwork are not included in this catalogue, as these do not form part of the archive collections. Search the library catalogue for these items, or contact the illustrations team if you would like to find out more about the art collections.

 

How do I view the items in your catalogue?

To view the original archive items, you will need to visit our public reading room, which is open Monday-Friday, 09.00-17.00. We recommend that you book an appointment by contacting the archives team.

If you have found something specific that you would like to see, please quote the document reference number. You can only order items at file level, not series or collection level e.g. “JDH/1/1 Antarctic journal, 18 May 1839-28 Mar 1843” as opposed to “JDH, Joseph Hooker Papers”.
We may be able to provide you with copies via e-mail or the post for a fee, if you are unable to visit in person. Contact the archives team for further information.
 

What should I do if I can’t find what I’m looking for?

The catalogue is not yet comprehensive, so we may hold what you are looking for, but it has not been included in the on-line catalogue.

Contact the archives team and they can check the paper indexes on your behalf.

 

How do I find out what books or artwork you hold?

 To find out about the books we hold, search the library catalogue. The library team can be contacted at library@kew.org.

To find out about the artwork we hold, contact the illustrations team at illus@kew.org.
 

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