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LHE Archives

How to browse and search

Database structure

The LHE archive is designed to balance structure and flexibility:  structure for consistency in key metadata fields,  flexibility so that contributors can choose how best to describe archival material.  It is a delicate balance!

The database is searchable across all metadata fields, including subject, keyword and long description fields. In addition, there are three mandatory fields that must be entered for each item: subject, colony and repository type. These four fields can only be populated by selecting from existing options in a drop-down menu, and provide a basic structure through which material can be browsed and filtered. 


Browsing allows you to filter all material across the three fields of subject, colony and repository type. 

It is possible to browse/filter by multiple subjects. For example you could filter for material that relates to Royal Commissions AND Courts and other legal institutions. 

However, you can only filter by one colony or repository type at a time.  For example, if you were looking for material relevant to the Cape of Good Hope and Ceylon,  you would you need to run the filter twice, once for each colony. If you wish to specify a specific repository, rather than repository type, you should use the advanced search function.

You can combine filters across the three fields. For example,  by browsing for material on a particular subject (e.g. Martial Law and Sovereignty), filtered also by colony (e.g. Jamaica)  and repository type (e.g. Online newspaper archives).


Simple searches can be made using the search box in the website header above.  The simple search offers powerful full-text searches across all metadata fields. This search will also pick up material in 'Project Collections'.  You can search for particular project collections on the project collections page. More complex search functions (including boolean operators, date limits etc) are available via Advanced search, which also allows for filtering by subject, colony and repository type. Specific repositories can be searched by using the keywords in the filter.