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Help Searching the Scottish Theatre Archive

Introduction

The Catalogue of the Scottish Theatre Archive currently contains about 19,000 descriptions of documents at item level and details of 10,000 associated events. Additions and upgrading of records are ongoing and future planned developments include the attachment of images to selected records. It should be noted that records for printed books and plays will be found by using the Classic Search.

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Searching for a document

Four methods of searching are available and outlined below: Name, Event, Document and Collection. Choose which serves your needs best and click on the appropriate type in the Welcome to our Scottish Theatre Archive screen. A new search may also be started by clicking on the appropriate button on other pages. The difference between event, document and accession records is also explained below.

Name Search

Select events, documents, or collections or in the first box to search for event, item or collection level records respectively. By default events will be listed. (Event should be selected when searching by the name of any participant; an associated document, e.g. programme, can be accessed via the resulting event record but will be found directly only via a name associated specifically with the document, e.g. theatre.)

In the Name box type, for a person, the surname or name under which the person is generally entered in reference sources.
For corporate bodies type the name by which it is officially known - e.g. A. Burslem & Sons Ltd, not Burslem. (In case of doubt separate searches under alternative names should be made; there are at present no cross references under variants.)

In the Forenames box type first name(s) or initial of a person with a conventional surname. Do not type any other information in this box.

In the Roles window click the arrow to see a list of roles - e.g. author, donor, recipient, subject - and click as appropriate to limit the search to a particular role. By default all roles will be included.

Click on the Search button to display a list of names matching your criteria.
In the list of names, the number to the right of each name indicates the number of matches associated with the name and role specified. Click on this number to display a list of the documents.

In the list of matches click on More Details to the right of the description to see the detailed Event, Document or Collection Record.

Event Search

This option searches for specific events, e.g. productions of a play.
The search option available is:

Title
Search is by keyword so initial articles may be omitted - e.g. entering importance will list productions of A woman of no importance as well as The importance of being earnest.
The search may be limited by Date of Performance range. Type the earliest and latest dates you wish to specify in the appropriate boxes. By default all years are searched.

Limiting Searches
In addition, the search can be further limited by Language or Event Type (e.g. play, pantomime). Click on the appropriate arrow to display a list of these options and click on the chosen category to select it.

Displaying Results
Click on the Search button to display a list of events matching your criteria.
In the list of events click on More Details to the right of the description to see the detailed Event Record.
Click on the title of an associated item to see the detailed Document Record
or
Click on an associated name to see a full list of events associated with that person or corporate body. Click on biographical/historical notes for more information about the person or body.

Document Search

This option searches for individual documents, e.g. programmes, including documents not associated with a particular event, e.g. administrative records of a theatre, personal diaries.
Search options available are:

Title
This option is only applicable to documents with a specific title. Search is by keyword so initial articles may be omitted.

Call number
This option searches by the Library’s call number and can be:
specific e.g. STA JLC 123
more general e.g. STA JLC

Year
This option searches by year of creation of documents. It can be by:
exact year e.g. 1895
decade e.g. 189
century e.g. 18

Word (or phrase) in Content
This searches for keywords or phrases in the detailed descriptions of the contents of documents. It is not case sensitive, but punctuation and spacing must be exact. As well as topics, most personal and corporate names can be found by this means. However, as usage varies from document to document, additional searches for variant forms of name may be necessary. You may search for more than one keyword by utilising multiple Word (or phrase) in Description boxes.

Combining Search Terms
Any combination of up to five such criteria may be specified. Click on the arrow and click the appropriate category in the list displayed if you wish to change a default category. Type your search term(s) in the corresponding box. The default operator, to the right, is ‘and’; click on the appropriate arrow if you wish to change this to ‘or’.

Limiting Searches
In addition, the search can be further limited by Language or Document Type (e.g. letter, programme). Click on the appropriate arrow to display a list of these options and click on the chosen category to select it.
A date, language or document type limit is recommended if searching by a common term or the call number of a large collection.

Displaying Results
Click on the Search button to display a list of documents matching your criteria.
In the list of documents click on the Record Number to the right of the description to see the detailed Document Record.
Click on an associated name to see a full list of events associated with that person or corporate body. Click on biographical/historical notes for more information about the person or body.
or
Click on Associated Event (if any) to see the detailed Event Record, listing participants, venue, etc.

Collection Search

Collection (or accession level) records may searched for by Word (or phrase) in Content or by Call Number, or a combination of these. (To search for an collection record by name use Name search.)

Up to three such criteria may be specified. Click on the arrow and click the appropriate category in the list displayed if you wish to change a default category. Type your search term(s) in the corresponding box. The default operator, to the right, is and; click on the appropriate arrow if you wish to change this to or.

The search may be limited by Year of Creation range. Type the earliest and latest years you wish to specify in the appropriate boxes. By default all years are searched.

Click on the Search button to display a list of collections matching your criteria.

In the list of collections click on the Record Number to the right of the description to see the detailed Collection Record.

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Types of Record

Event Record

The Event Record gives details of a specific event, e.g. production of a play. It includes names of performers, directors, etc. as well as venues, companies and festivals.

Names of individuals and corporate bodies associated with an event record are listed at the end. Click on a name to see a full list of documents associated with the name.
Click on the title of an associated item, e.g. programme, to see the detailed Document Record
or
Click on an associated name to see a full list of events associated with that person or corporate body. Click on biographical/historical notes for more information about the person or body.

Document Record

The Document Record gives details of an individual item, including artefacts. (In the case of a few collections of documents not yet separately catalogued a collection level description has been included as a temporary document record to facilitate searching.)

To see the collection (or accession level)record associated with a document record click on the Accession Number.
Click on Associated Event (if any) to see the detailed Event Record, listing participants, venue, etc.
Names of individuals and corporate bodies associated with a document record are listed at the end. Click on a name to see a full list of documents associated with the name.
Click on biographical/historical notes to see fuller details of the individual or corporate body.

Collection Record

The Collection Record contains summary details of the contents and history of a particular collection or single item acquired separately.

Click on Documents associated with this record to see a full list of documents in the collection (or accession).
Names of individuals and corporate bodies associated with a collection record are listed at the end. Click on a name to see a full list of collection records associated with the name.
Click on biographical notes to see fuller details of the individual or corporate body

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Ordering a document

Users of the Special Collections Department Reading Room should complete a call slip, transcribing the complete Call Number, with brief details of the document from the Title or Description fields. See the Reading Room regulations for further information.

Remote users enquiring by letter, email, etc. should cite the complete Call Number.

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