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Quick search

This is a simple search using the search box in the top right hand corner of every page. To perform a simple search type your search term into the box – for instance, ‘Fladdabister’ or ‘Janet Williamson’ - and click the Search button. The simple search only searches the main parts of the records, 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 at the top of the screen. 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.


Search tips


Personal names and place names

These often vary in spelling or have changed over time, e.g. ‘Dunrosnes’ for Dunrossness, or ‘Williamsone’ for Williamson. In the process of cataloguing we have aimed to spell the names as they appear in the contemporary document. We are in the process of adding modern spellings. If your initial search is unsuccessful, you may need to try searching on variations of a name. See also ‘Wild card’ below.


Wild card

Using a 'wild card' asterisk * will have the effect of broadening your search, for example a search on 'missi*', will find records containing 'mission', 'missionary', 'missionaries', etc. You can also use the asterisk in the middle of a word: for example a search on Tum*lin will find records using the spelling ‘Tumblin’ and those using ‘Tumlin’.



You can also search for whole collections. For instance, if you want to see all our Town Council of Lerwick, records, simply search for ‘TO/*’. For a list of all collections available, see ‘About the Catalogue’.


Staff are always present in the searchroom to help if you have difficulties.

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