Simply enter your keyword(s) or search term into the search box and click ‘Search’.
1. Avoid putting dates in the search box - you can narrow down dates easily once you've got your search results
2. Use quote marks around names and phrases to make sure the search engine looks for the words together. This is especially useful for names. A search for "John Jones" will find the two words next to one another: if you don't use quotes, it will just find pages with those 2 words on it - that will be a lot of pages!
3. Be creative with names and phrases. Elizabeth Jones (nee Adams) could turn up as Lizzie Adams, Mrs Jones, Mrs Arthur Jones or many more variants! Equally, remember that phrases which are commonplace today might not have been at the time - so searching for "World War One" is a no-no as they had no idea at the time that a second one was on the way.
4. Search the whole country. Don't apply filters to narrow the area of publication too early. Remember that newspapers would cover events from around the country, and around the world. A story that happened in Glasgow, Scotland could easly get covered in Dublin, Ireland, or Dover, England.
5. Search for events and places if a name search doesn't give you results. The names of the people involved were not always recorded, so if you know the type of event, or any other information, try searching for that instead, for example a search for [Drowned Cardiff] may find you the story that ["Joseph Edwards" drowning] might not.
You will be presented with a list of search results which you can narrow down by selecting options from the menu on the left-hand side of the page. Use the facets to limit your results by article type, publication date, publication geography, newspaper title or tags.
An advanced search gives you more powerful tools: you build a "power search" which will let you be much more specific about words you want to find (and exclude) from your searches, let you filter by specific date ranges, and many other options.
POWER SEARCH OPTIONS
All of these words: all search terms you enter in this box will be searched for. It is like using AND on many search engines.
Some of these words: some of the search terms you enter will be searched for. We use a minimum match (mm) formula to ensure that you get the most relevant results.
Without these words: exclude these terms from your search. This is very useful if you are searching for a common or ambiguous word, such as "church" which can be a building, a surname, institution or company.
Phrase: search for words that appear together in an article. This will search for the occurrence of your search words together in the order that you type them. This works well when searching for a forename, surname combination. e.g. searching for "joe bloggs" will give results where the two words are located together, rather than the occurrence of separate occurrences of 'joe' and 'bloggs' in an article.
PLEASE NOTE - the search engine ignores common words and characters known as stop words. These include words such as "where", "on", "and", "the", and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters.
OTHER ADVANCED SEARCH OPTIONS
Region: use this dropdown to limit your results to the place of publication.
Date range: enter dates in the ‘Date From’ and ‘Date To’ boxes to restrict you results to a date range. Alternatively, fill in just one box to search for results on a specific day.
Article type: use this checklist to limit your results to particular types of content, e.g. article, advertisement, family notice. Use this with care as not all pages are fully categorised and you may hide good matches.
Tags: search by Tags that other users have added to articles. Not all articles have tags, but the number that do is growing every day.
Front page only: tick this box to limit your results to articles that appear on the front page only.
Your search results will appear in order of relevance, with the most relevant results first.
Seeing your search terms in search results
Every search result lists the first occurrence of your search term within the newspaper article or page to display how your search terms are used in context on that page. In the excerpt, your search terms are displayed in bold text so that you can quickly determine if that result is from a page you wish to view.
Searching for words with hyphens or punctuation
Hyphens: To search for hyphenated names or phrases, remove the hyphen from the name and try to combine both words, e.g. parkersmith rather than parker-smith. You can also search for the name as a phrase – just replace the hyphen with a space, e.g. parker smith. This will ensure you get results where the electronically translated text has not recognised the hyphen.
Punctuation: To search for names or phrases that include punctuation, remove the punctuation from the name to make it all one word, e.g. oleary rather than O'Leary. You can also try searching with a space where the punctuation would normally appear, e.g. o leary.