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Tips for Searching the Historical Collections


The Historical Collections Online can be searched by using the ‘Search Keywords’ box.  For best results, type a single word or name into the box.

You can carry out a more detailed search of the collection via the ‘Advanced Search’ page.

Under Search Parameters there are a number of options to help clarify your search and provide you with more precise results.

In choosing what to search, the option ‘string or entire phrase’ will help you find a phrase (two words or more in a string) such as ‘walking stick’ or a name such as ‘Patrick Ryan’. If you enter only one string without spaces, your search will find word within other words, for example, ‘Scot’ will return records containing the term ‘Scotland’ and ‘Scottish’, and ‘week’ will return records containing the phrase ‘Weekly Freeman’.

Choosing the option ‘Any of the exact words’ will give you results that include either of the words in its entirety (Scot will only return records containing Scot as a word). The latter can be useful if you are unsure of which vocabulary may be used for an object (e.g. you may enter ‘knife dagger’ and with this option enabled the search will return records which contain either knife or dagger or both).

In choosing where in the record to search, ticking all three boxes - ‘Any field’, ‘Heading’ and ‘description’ - under ‘Search parameters’ will provide you with more results.

There are also dropdown boxes with options to search for objects in individual Exhibitions, Collections, or Subject (e.g., ‘1916 Rising’, or a more precise ‘1916 Rising, Destruction’).  Placenames can also be found under Subject.

For placenames and surnames, remember that spellings may differ over time, and both contemporary Irish and English spellings are used.  For example, search both ‘Mc’ and ‘Mac’, with and without a space between it and the family name.

Try different searches using both the full name and its abbreviation e.g. Royal Irish Constabulary or R.I.C., General Post Office or G.P.O.

When viewing an object record, images can be viewed in larger format by clicking on the main image, or by choosing the ‘Images’ tab, next to ‘Catalogue Info’, and clicking on one of the thumbnails. Click the arrow buttons for more images of this object.

The ‘Further Reading’ tab will provide any available information on specific references to this object elsewhere online, and information on where it was previously exhibited.

When you are finished viewing an object record and you wish to return to the original result list or try another search, choose the ‘Go back to search result’ option, not the back button on your browser.

Plaster copy of Oliver Sheppard's bronze statue of the 1798 Wexford Pikeman. (Object Number HH:2013.1)

Irish Free State Army uniform of General Richard Mulcahy, 1922. (Object Number HE:1995.2)

Cumann na mBan tunic worn by Rose MacNamara in Marrowbone Lane Distillery and Kilmainham Jail during Easter Week, 1916. (Object Number HE:EW.990a)