In this screenshot you can see the database search form. There are 5 searchable fields, KEYWORD, NAMES/ORGANIZATION, LOCATION, SUBJECT, and FORMAT. These are discussed in more detail below.
To the left of each field there is a drop-down menu showing the terms AND, OR, and NOT. Using this dropdown menu allows you to refine your searches. For example, if you wanted to retrieve photographs of town halls in Simcoe County, but not textual records, typing 'town hall' in the keyword field, selecting NOT on the format drop down menu, and entering "textual" in the format field will retrieve all records referring to 'town hall' that are not textual records. The OR option will retrieve records relating to one OR the other search term, but not both. Searches are evaluated top to bottom, or from the keyword field to the format field.
When entering your search terms, the case does not matter. Punctuation is ignored, with the exception of the Boolean operator symbols &, /, and !. If you would like to include these symbols as part of your search, enclose them in quotation marks. For example, "Johnson & Johnson".
Search results are displayed in a short description, providing the Title, Date, and Format of the record. Clicking on the title in a short description will open the long description, which includes more details about the record. Your search terms will be appear in bolded text in record descriptions. If you are interested in getting copies of a record (see the Policy on Copying) or coming to the Archives to view your search results, be sure to write down the accession number, title, date, and format from the long description so the record can be easily retrieved.