As mentioned, there are 5 search fields: Keyword, Name/Organization, Location, Subject, and Format. Generally, the most useful field for general searches will be the Keyword, but the others will prove useful when you wish to refine your searches. What follows is a list of the information searched by each field.
The keyword search field indexes a wide variety of information about the record, including title, statement of responsibility (i.e. author or photographer), dates, distribution and publication information, physical description, scope and contents (ie: a detailed description of the record), an administrative history/biographical sketch of a person or organization, geographic location, and subject headings. In most cases, this field will be the most useful.
The Name/Organization field searches only fields that include proper names and organizational names. Tips:
Search names of people in the format "Simcoe, John Graves" rather than "John Graves Simcoe."
Remember that transcriptions from old hand-writing or aged documents may not be accurate and spellings of names varied. Try alternate spellings to broaden your search.
The Location field searches for cities, towns, municipalities, or other geographical names. It searches the Geographic Location and Distribution & Publication information fields of our database. Tip:
When searching for a location such as Barrie, Ontario, search for 'Barrie' not 'Barrie, Ontario.' This is because archival description standards dictate that larger geographical locations be abbreviated.
The Subject field searches subject headings and names as subjects. Tip:
The Format field allows you to specify what type of record you wish to find. Archival description standards dictate general material designations that can be used. The best way to use this field is to click the browse button and choose the most appropriate designation. Designations include:
graphic material - includes photographs, negatives, slides, paintings, etc.
moving images - includes films and movies
multiple media - refers to collections comprised of more than 3 different formats
object - anything that does not fit any other designation
philatelic record - anything related to stamps, postal marks, and postage