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The Web Site

Search Tips

A useful shortcut if you want to search by collection and get at a glance an idea of which collections are available online is to click on the word SEARCH on the Repository Institutions page.

Wild card
Use the asterisk * if, for instance, you are unsure of the spelling of a term, or if you would like to search for both its singular and plural forms. A search for 'diptych*' will bring back results containing both 'diptych' and 'diptychs'.

Using quotation marks " " is essential to find exact phrasings. For instance, if you are looking for all Museum of London objects, enter "Museum of London" in the location field, otherwise you will get all location results containing the words Museum and London!

See everything!
If you want to browse through all objects available on the web site, click on GO at the top of this page, leaving the Quicksearch field blank.

Looking for lost, stolen or destroyed objects?
To find them, type one of these words in the Museum number field on the Advanced Search page.
Please note that images will not necessarily be available for these objects, due to their particular circumstances.

Looking for unlocated pieces?
To find them, type 'unknown' in the Current Location field on the Advanced Search page.


You can key a word directly into the Quicksearch box on any page, hit return, and very likely get a set of results. This is the recommended way of quickly getting to a list of images, although single terms often produce long lists.

However, Quicksearch means fast not crude! Users who are familiar with Boolean search operators can also key them directly into this box and quickly run quite complex queries. For instance:

  • If you key in 'Magi and Crucifixion', you will find a group of images which have been catalogued with both these terms.
  • If you key in 'Magi and Crucifixion' you will find a much longer list of images which have been catalogued with either term.
  • If you key in 'Magi not Crucifixion' you will find a list of images which have been catalogued with the term 'Magi' but not the term 'Crucifixion'.
The Quicksearch box is therefore an easy way to get quickly to images, but also a very powerful search tool.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search page gives you the opportunity to formulate a very complex query by entering values in specific fields.
Using these boxes, you can create queries with multiple criteria which would probably be too complex to key directly into the Quicksearch box.
Assume that these boxes are linked by the 'and' operator, so that every time you enter a term you are qualifying all previous terms entered, and hence dramatically lowering the likely number of results. By the time you have entered more than two terms in these boxes, you are running quite a high risk of getting no results, so it is worth running the search with just one or two terms to see how many results you are getting.

Sorting your search results

The Search Results page is displayed whenever you find some images that satisfy your search criteria (and also when you follow a link which has multiple images as its targets).

You can sort your search results by the three fields displayed for each result: Type, Place/Date and Current Location.
When you click one of these three values at the top of the Search Results page, the entire results set is sorted alphabetically by that field. You can navigate through search results by following the links at top and bottom right of each page in a results set. The ' >> ' icon means 'Go to the last page' and the ' << ' icon means go to the first page.

Last updated: 13 November 2012.

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Please remember to acknowledge any use of the site in publications and lectures as: 'Gothic Ivories Project at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, www.gothicivories.courtauld.ac.uk', followed by the date you accessed the site.