Researchers should note that their type of web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer 6; Firefox) will effect how the webpages of UCL Archives appear on their PC screen. Using Internet Explorer 6 means they will see a box of help text entitled ‘Search terminology’ to the right of the search fields on the ‘Search’ page.
If the same page is viewed via Firefox, this text appears in the form of tooltips which appear to right of the search fields. A researcher must move their mouse pointer over the question mark icon to make a tooltip appear.
UCL Special Collections and UCL SSEES hold different archive collections which are available for consultation by researchers on different physical sites on the UCL campus.
The ‘Storage Site’ field which appears in all records indicates if a record is part of a collection held by UCL Special Collections or UCL SSEES.
Researchers who wish to access any collections held at UCL Special Collections should contact:
Researchers who wish to access any collections held at UCL SSEES should contact:
This search option allows researchers to search all fields of inputted records, and treats inputted dates as text.
Allows the researcher to create a more focused search by offering the option to use several fields at once. It also allows searchers to input more than one term at a time in the ‘All Fields’, ‘Title’ and ‘Description’ fields.
All Fields : Searches all inputted fields of records.
Title : To search the titles of records.
Date : To search for records matching either a single date or date range. Please note that dates in a date range search should be separated by a hyphen e.g. 1901-1910
Person’s Name : To search for a particular person name index term e.g. Orwell, George. Researchers can enter a name directly into the search field, or they can click on the Look up link:
Corporate Name : To search for a particular name index term of an institution e.g. University College London. The input method is as outlined for the Person’s Name field.
Term : Records on UCL Archives have been catalogued using subject index terms sourced from the UKAT thesaurus e.g. hospitals. To search for records which relate to a particular UKAT subject index term researchers can enter a name directly into the search field, or they can click on the Look up link:
Description : To search the Description field of records. This field in inputted records contains a summarizing description about the record e.g. ‘ Papers of George Belles Greenough, 1794-1855, falling into three broad sections: papers connected with his work, personal papers, and correspondence’.
Storage Site : The picklist for this search field offers the option to search only UCL Special Collections records or alternatively only UCL SSEES records.
Reference Number : To search using the unique reference number of a record. This search is tailored to researchers who are already familiar with the collections and referencing systems at UCL Special Collections and SSEES.
Level : To search for records at a particular level in the database. For instance selecting ‘collection’, will search for whole collections, ‘section’ will search for different sections within collections, ‘series’ will search for series within collections, ‘file’ will search for individual files within a collection. This search is most suitable for researchers who are familiar with multi-level archive cataloguing.
Records should contain : Select 'All search terms' to search for records which contain all inputted search terms. Alternatively, select ‘Any search term’ to find records containing either one inputted term or another. ‘Phrase’ searches multiple search terms in a field in a given order.
Combine fields with : Select ‘And’ to search for all search fields which have inputted terms. Choosing the ‘Or’ option will search for either one search field with inputted terms or another.
A search will produce a hit list of results. The list will feature reference numbers (expressed in abbreviated form as ‘RefNo’), titles, dates (relevant field is named ‘Date1’), and the storage site of records.
Start/Prev/Next/End: Select to scroll through the pages of the list.
Print: Click to see printer friendly version of the hit list.
To see the full description of any record click on the ‘Full Record’ link on the far left of the list.
Full descriptions provide detailed information about a record including reference number (‘RefNo’), title, covering date/s of existence (‘Date1’), storage site etc.
Dates expressed in the ‘Date1’ field are sometimes preceded by a ‘c’ or have square brackets wrapped around them e.g. c1901; . This indicates that a definite date is not known, and the cataloguer has therefore supplied an estimated date or dates.
First/Prev/Next/Last: Select to scroll through the detailed descriptions of the other records in the hit list.
To go back to the hit list click back on the toolbar of your web browser.
Print: Click to see printer friendly version of the record.
Archive collections are usually catalogued in accordance with a hierarchical parent-child principle, and will often contain multiple records at multiple levels. Viewing a record in context will give you an overview of a collection and the record’s place in it.
To see a record in context click on the reference number (‘RefNo’) in the full view of a record.
A tree structure will appear, indicating different levels and their records, along with their titles, dates, level and reference number (‘RefNo’).
Click on ‘Expand’ to open that level in the tree.
To see full descriptions of any of the records in the tree click on the reference number (‘RefNo’).