ArchSearch Help Page

ADS holdings are split between ‘monument inventories’ and ‘archives’ and this division is now more explicit on the ADS website with separate search mechanisms for each.The procedures developed at the ADS for assigning facets, including relating coordinate positions for monuments to counties, districts and parishes have been quite complex. They have involved, amongst other things, the use of Natural Language Processing and queries using Oracle Spatial. As a result we believe we have created a very powerful search tool, however it is one that may require a little experimentation to become familiar with.


ArchSearch Basic

ArchSearch Basic is a simple keyword search. Type in a keyword and the search will return all the records relevant to the keyword. Following a successful query, ArchSearch generates a list of results to the right of the screen. Each result will display the record title and a brief description. The record title can be clicked upon to take you to the full record. At the top of the results list the number of records that have been returned by the search can be found. Results can be narrowed down by using the facet tree to the left of the screen. How to use these facets are described in the Archsearch Browser description below. Archsearch results can also be downloaded in csv and xml format by clicking on the links at the top of the results list.


ArchSearch Browser

For the ArchSearch faceted classification system's first iteration we have decided to stick with our old friends, where, what and when.

In this new interface users can click onto facets relating to what a monument is (based on the Thesaurus of Monument types), where it is (based on the current County District Parish list) and when it relates to (based on the MIDAS period types). What this means is that with a small number of clicks the 1,000,000 or so available records can be narrowed down very quickly to quite specific searches with manageable results sets.

In one example, with only three selections: Castle; Conwy; Medieval the results set goes from 1,000,000 to seven records from two different data sources. If you know exactly what part of the country you are interested in the new ArchSearch also features an interactive mapping pane that both allows the selection of a particular area of interest and displays results.

It should be noted that not all the original records have such specific data attached to them on every facet and it goes without saying that if you prefer the straightforward search box approach this will still work and will still return the results you are looking for. In fact the first page of ArchSearch is the traditional search box, additional features such as browsing and mapping can be accessed via the tall vertical buttons, or blades.


ArchSearch Map

In addition to the where facet ArchSearch Map is an interactive mapping panel that allows you to zoom into exactly the part of the country you are interested in and display the results spatially. To use this tool, narrow your search using the ArchSearch keyword search or the ArchSearch Browser facets, then click on the Map blade to the right of the screen. The map will display your results. To zoom in on an area simply use your mouse to trace a box over the area you are interested in or use the zoom bar within the map. The map will only display between 5 and 10 results at a time. The total number of results are displayed above the map to the left of the screen. If your search has returned more results than shown on the map you can view the additional results by clicking on the arrows beside the total results number.


ArchSearch Advanced

The new ArchSearch interface also features an advanced search allowing you to narrow your search even more precisely than you can using the browser facets. This advanced search allows you to not only search by keyword, but also by subject, period and location. Location care be narrowed down to a country, county, district, parish or simply a named location. The advanced search also allows you to search by depositors ID (e.g HER IDs), Gery Liturature ID or Associated ID.

ArchSearch External

The external search takes the query constructed in the browser and map and sends it off to externally hosted resources i.e. online monument inventories that are searchable via a web service. This section also includes links to two other search interfaces intended to extend your search across national boundaries, across European partners in the case of ARENA II and across the Atlantic Ocean in the case of TAG.

ArchSearch Resources

ArchSearch Resource Details Page

Download the workbook 'Accessing Data for Archaeological Research: the Archaeology Data Service' which provides a series of exercises to guide you through the ADS tools available to researchers.

Further Help

Email ADS Helpdesk