- Read a brief tutorial about using the search
- Follow links to examples of searches
- Learn how to save your searches
A note about using search terms
Please bear the following in mind:
- It might sometimes be better to search using singular rather than plural terms. For instance "mill" gives you more results than "mills".
- The search is not case sensitive so "egyptology" will work as well as "EGYPTOLOGY".
1: Enter your keyword or phrase
As mentioned above, specific terms work best.
The search will not pick up on misspellings or typos though it will be "tweaked" over time to pick up on common spelling errors and offer alternative suggestions.
2: View search results
If your keyword is available then you will get a thumbnail gallery to browse through. This might include one or many results.
If your search is not successful then simply enter a new search term and try again. To view a particular object in detail simply click on the thumbnail image or the link beneath it (see 4:)
You can see this result live by viewing the "mills" keyword search results
3: Filter your search
It could be that your keyword is too broad and you may get lots of objects that are irrelevant to you.
If so, click on one of the subject category links to narrow your search.
4: View object details
By clicking on a thumbnail you will be presented with a preview image.
Below this will be some details about the object or image from our collections database (you may need to scroll down the page to see this information).
View an object page from the example search, in this case an image of Barlow and Jones staff celebrating the 1937 coronation
5: Browse your search results
Above the preview image you will see a mini thumbnail browser that shows the image you are looking at (outlined in blue) in relation to the other objects in your search.
Click on any of these to browse through your search results.
6: View the main image
If you want to see the preview image in more detail then you can click on it. This will take you to a much larger version.
Many browsers will resize larger images to fit your screen size. If you want to zoom in you will have various options which normally become apparent when you hover your mouse over the image.
For example: Internet Explorer 6 shows a button at the bottom right hand corner. You click this to enlarge the image. In Firefox your cursor turns into a magnifying glass and clicking anywhere on the image will enlarge it for you.
7: Go back one or more steps
At any stage in the process you can go back one or more steps by hitting your browser's back button.
To see everything that is available you can simply hit the search button without entering a term and Search the collections
Of course this may be a bit extreme, perhaps it might be best to narrow your search to the various categories, for example:
If you want to focus in on more specific keywords and object types you may want to look at the following example keyword searches:
A large proportion of pictures of local places and events in the archives and social history collections have been printed on postcards. A tour through these will give you a wide variety of imagery from local history.
Bolton has a diverse and fascinating fine art collection with many paintings by renowned local and national artists from Thomas Moran to Henry Moore.
Netsuke (pronounced "net-ski") are tiny and detailed carved belt accessories that were worn in Japan in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Many depict elaborate scenes with characters from mythology and folklore that are sometimes comical and cartoon like.
These objects are all the more amazing as they are all one-offs and no more than two inches high.
Of course no local history collection would be complete without a large selection of photographs. The people and places of Bolton from the Victorian era to the present.
Areas and places in Bolton
Saving your searches
The simplest way to do this is to bookmark the thumbnail gallery or object page that interests you ("Ctrl + D" in most browsers). You can then easily return to that page at any time.
If you are familiar with RSS or news feeds then read on:
The current collections search only has a tiny fraction of the museum and archives collections available to view. This is because it was decided to only feature records that have accompanying images. Over time the number of objects with images will increase.
If there is a particular type of object or subject that you are interested in then you can subscribe to a search using your feed/news reader.
When anything new is added to the site you will be notified right away.