Leeds University Library
Our website is changing

The Library website is changing. Our new website will go live at the start of semester 2.

Searching Special Collections

These instructions are for the new search facility for Special Collections.

Basic search

  • Enter one or more words into the search box
  • Letter case does not matter. Eg 'First Aid' is the same as 'first aid'
  • Word order does not matter. Eg 'aid first' will match the same records as 'first aid'
  • If the word order does matter, enter a phrase within double quotes, eg "first aid"
  • Records are returned that contain all of the entered words. Eg 'aid first' will return only those records that contain both 'aid' and 'first'. If you would like to be a bit more sophisticated, please read the 'Boolean search' section below.
  • If you are not sure of spelling, use * to match any characters. Eg brown* matches brown, browne, browning...

Boolean search (and, or, not)

How are words combined in a search?

  • Normally (as mentioned above) records are returned that contain all of the entered words. Eg 'aid first' will return only those records that contain both 'aid' and 'first'.
  • If you want to search for records that contain eg 'first' or records that contain 'aid', then enter:
    first OR aid
    OR has to be in capital letters
  • If you want to search for records that eg contain 'first' but do not include 'aid', then enter:
    first NOT aid

    NOT has to be in capital letters
  • You can use brackets to make even fancier searches. Eg:
    first NOT (aid OR medicine)
    searches for records containing 'first' that do not contain 'aid' and do not contain 'medicine'

Advanced search

  • There are additional options available if 'Advanced search' is selected
  • 'Media' - choose to search all records, or only those with images, or with other media (e.g. PDFs)
  • 'Type of record' - choose to search for all records, or just Archival records, books and printed matter, or index records (see more details on types or records)
  • 'Field' - choose the field to search, e.g. title, description
  • 'Level' -  restrict the search to a particular level of an archive hierarchy
  • 'Collection group' - restrict the search to a particular group of collections
  • Earliest/Latest dates - restrict the search to those records of materials created in a particular century. Note that many of our collections span long time periods, and many records only have approximate dates, so please use these date options with care.