This page includes information for users regarding the searching and browsing of archival descriptions in Discover Archives.
In Discover Archives, it is possible to browse descriptions, persons and organizations, and archival institutions. The categories can be browsed under the Browse by heading located in the left menu of the pages or by clicking on the Browse button next to the Search Box on the top left side of the page.
Note: Browsing archival descriptions will return top level descriptions only.
Archival Descriptions: Users can browse all descriptions in Discover Archives. To do this, simply click on the Archival Descriptions link. Users can also limit their selection by Archival Institution, Creator, Name and Level of Description using the subheadings area in the left browsing menu.
Archival Institutions: Users can restrict their browsing to a specific repository using Discover Archives. When a user clicks on Archival Institution, icons of all institutions using the platform will appear. Simply click on the institution whose holdings you would like to browse.
People and Organizations: Users can restrict their browsing to people and organizations that are associated with a specific fonds or collection by selecting the People and Organizations link. The user will be presented with an alphabetical listing of people and organizations. Users can limit the results by clicking on a specific entity type, (i.e. Person, Corporate body, Family), under the Entity type heading in the left menu. Users may also want to do a general search for the person, family or organization to discover descriptions that don't have the person, family or organization added as an access point.
To conduct a basic search of the records held in Discover Archives, users can type a query in the Search box located at the top of the screen. The search will return results from all archival institutions using Discover Archives.
Matching terms for the search will appear.
Results from the search will be shown in the centre area of the page.
Once search results are returned users can limit their results using the facets in the left menu.
To conduct an advanced search, click on the Advanced search option in the Search box.
Users can limit their searches to the following fields using the advanced search option:
- Archival History
- Scope and Content
- Extent and Medium
- Name access points (people and organizations)
- Reference code
- Archival History
Users can combine and narrow searches by conducting a Boolean search by using the following terms and symbols:
- AND or &&
- To combine search terms to narrow your search.
- OR or ||
- To combine search terms to broaden your search.
- NOT or !
- To exclude search terms to narrow your search.
- An * placed after a term will return variations on a search term.
- " "
- Terms placed in the " " must be present in the search results.
- Single character wildcard.
- Terms placed after the - must not be in the result.
- Terms placed after the + must be in the result.
Users can also narrow searches by applying filters in the following categories:
- Repository (archival institution)
- Will limit the search to the holdings of a specific repository
- Example - University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services.
- Top level description (i.e. fonds, collection, manuscript collection)
- Will limit the search to a specific fonds, collection or manuscript collection
- Example - UTSC Photographic Services collection
- General Material Designation
- Note: Limiting your search will only return results from University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
- Level of description
- Will limit the results to a specific level of description (fonds, collection, manuscript collection, sous fonds, series, subseries, file, item).
To select a specific fonds, collection or manuscript collection type its title in the Search box. Alternatively, a user can navigate to Advanced search and limit result to the specific fonds, collection or manuscript collection in the Top-level description field.
Select the fonds, collection, or manuscript collection from the search results. To search within the fonds, collection, or manuscript collection click on the Quick search option in the left menu. Type in a keyword, identifier, title, etc. to search the fonds, collection, or manuscript collection.
Users can generate lists of files and items for their research. File and item lists include basic information including reference code, title, date and access restrictions.
A file and item report will only be generated for the fonds, series, or file you have selected.
To generate a report for a fonds, collection or manuscript collection series, subseries, select Reports on the right menu.
Lists can be sorted by Reference code, Title or Date (based on start date).
Institutions have the ability to generate PDF finding aids for their archival description. Users can then download a copy of the finding aid if it has already been generated. A download option will be available if a PDF finding aid has been generated for the archival description.
Archival descriptions are hierarchical and information at the different levels go from the general to the specific. At the fonds, collection or manuscript collection level, the description will provide an overview of all the material in the fonds, collection or manuscript collection. The series description provides and overview of records grouped together because they were created as a result of a similar function or activity, record type or subject. A file description provides information about material housed in a file or files that are related by use or by topic.