Catalogue
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How to use the Catalogue

Northumberland Archives electronic catalogue is an archival database which holds catalogue lists of collections relating to records held at our Woodhorn and Berwick Record Offices. It also contains information about collections at the Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum.

There are currently in the region of 330,000 records available to view on our catalogue.  This represents only a portion of the records we hold – new lists are being added all the time so it is always worth a new search.  Each record in a list contains a number of pieces of information to help you, such as a title, a description, dates, what language the item is in (if it is not in English) as well as others.  Many have images attached and there are also sound bites from oral history recordings you can listen to.

SEARCHING THE CATALOGUE

Quick Search:
This option allows you to undertake a “quick search” using keywords.  A keyword search will search all the records in the catalogue, as well as all the fields in each record.  In this way, your hitlist will contain everything in the catalogue relating to your keyword.

Advanced Search:
This facility allows you to search on specific terms, fields, and also to combine your fields – this allows you to search the catalogue in a much more structured way.  For instance, you might want information about maps relating to Shilbottle.  By entering words into different fields you will narrow your list so it is more effective.

Wildcards:
The use of an asterisk in a search is particularly useful here. For example, if you wish to locate records relating to dancing, by typing in danc* you will bring up all references to dance, dances and dancing.

Field-by-Field Description:
RefNo

This is a unique combination of letters and numbers given to each item within our collections. The letters that prefix the numbers indicate which collection the item forms a part of:
ASHMM: indicates that the item forms part of the 3-D collections held at Woodhorn
BRO: indicates that the item forms part of the archive collections held at Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office
NRO: indicates that the item forms part of the archive collections held at Woodhorn. There are also some collections with this prefix held at Berwick. In order to discover which office holds the records you need to check the Repository field. You need to provide staff with this reference number when using requesting to view or obtain copies of items from our collections.
MOR: indicates that the item forms part of the archive collections held at Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum.
HEX: indicates that the item forms part of the archive collections held at Hexham Old Gaol.

You may wish to make a search on the Reference field if you have a full reference for an item or have a Collection Level reference and wish to view a list of all items within that collection. For example, the Collection Level reference for the Blackett (Wylam) papers is ZBK. A search on this will bring up a list of all ZBK references within the catalogue.

Repository
Searching on this field will reveal lists of all the collections held by a particular repository, regardless of the type of collection or reference number.  It is important to note that not all our collections are online, so not finding the list you are looking for does not categorically mean that we don’t have it!

RefNo
This is the reference number.  Each record has a unique number and this is the number you need to use to order original archive material in our searchroom.

Title
This field includes the “critical” information used to describe an item.  More detailed information may be found in the Description field.  The title field contains the aspects of the item that are most relevant to the viewer, in order to determine whether they wish to know more or would like to visit Woodhorn to view the item or obtain a copy of it.

Description
This field provides you with added information to give you a fuller picture.  For instance, the title field might indicate that the item is a deed for a particular building; the description field would then add the names of the people involved, perhaps the rent as well as other details.  Not every record goes into this kind of detail however!

Date
Type in a date to bring up a list of all references that relate to that date. Your search results will include references that have a date span that includes that year. For example, a search on 1920 will bring up results such as 1910-1930.

Access Conditions
Some of the collections in our care have access restrictions, which may be for a number of reasons.  Certain types of records are subject to closure periods which vary, and the closure may be up to 100 years in length.  Some may be too fragile to produce or there is a microfilm copy available.  This field will allow you to see if there is a reason why you wouldn’t be able to look at an item in our searchroom at Woodhorn.

Admin History
This field provides background information on who created the records in a particular list, for instance a well-known family, or a business organisation.

Format
Historical records come in a wide variety of physical formats, and this field identifies what kind of record it is – from volume to CD, rolled map to digital copy, or deed to DVD.

Image
The image field allows you to view any of the records that we have digitised, whether photographic, documents, or artefacts.  You can purchase copies of images; please note that using images in display or for commercial purposes does require permission from our service.  If you click on the image you will then be able to view an enlarged version of it in a new window.

"Add to Basket"
The add to basket feature allows you to download a digital copy of an image shown in the catalogue or request a quote for a copy of an entry where no image is shown. Choose the items and add them to your basket, register with the website if you have not already done so to continue. You can add as many images as you like before you proceed to checkout. Once you agree to the T&C's you can proceed to secure payment. Once your payment has been processed you will receive a receipt and a download link via email. You have three attempts to download the image to your computer. If you experience any problems during the checkout process please contact reprographics%40woodhorn.org.uk .

All of this information is available to download here.