Help with searching

Quick search

Enter a word or phrase in the box: matches will then be found. The query searches the main information fields ('Title', 'Administrative/biographical history', and 'Scope and content').

All of your search term is treated as a single word, including punctuation and spaces.

! You need only enter the first few letters of uncommon words ('kang' instead of 'kangaroo'). There is no need to use * after an incomplete word in Quick search, or " to surround your term.! No need to use capitals in search terms: 'Saint', 'SAINT', and 'saint' are treated the same.! Boolean (AND, OR) searches don't work on ANW. To restrict the scope of a search, use the Advanced search option or use a phrase as a search term. Filtering of a search ('search within results') is not possible on ANW.! Use Quick search to find how much relevant information is held on ANW. Then think about refining your search term or using a better method.

Some of the collections are very large, and material which makes up only a small part of a large collection may not be listed in detail (if a collection of papers contains two FA Cup tickets, searching for 'FA Cup Final tickets 1969' may not yield a result). ! Think about general headings that might cover the specific content ('football ephemera'; 'match programmes and tickets').


No relevant information?

Standardised name Personal, place- and corporate names have often been spelled in different forms over time. ANW has adopted one standard spelling, but variations are possible. Accents and circumflexes in ANW can also cause problems with some computers. ! Try alternative spellings.

Too specific If your search would lead you to a single document (somebody's will, a house plan), it won't be listed on ANW in that form. ! Search for collections not items. What collection would the item belong to?

Collection content If you are searching for a small group of material, it may be held by a repository but not listed on ANW. Or it may be in another repository, not represented on ANW. Or, of course, it may not be held at all.

Official records Records of central government will be held by TNA, and are not listed on ANW. Some court and shipping records have been transferred to local repositories; these are listed on ANW.

Wrong location Archives may end up in repositories some distance from their source, so search all of ANW, not just the nearest repository. There are many similar or duplicate placenames in Wales. Are you sure you want the Llanbadarn Fawr in Cardiganshire (now Ceredigion) not the one in Radnorshire (now Powys)?

Broaden your search If your family is linked to a particular parish, try searching for estates, industries, schools or clubs in the parish. Parish council collections may contain interesting information about events in the area.


Too many matches?

Change your search Search for a phrase rather than a word; or search for an uncommon word rather than a common one.

Restrict your search Use Advanced search to focus on a date range, archives held by one repository, or information in one part of the descriptions.

Use the indexes Search or browse the indexes- these will link you to archives containing the most information about that person or subject.


Browse descriptions

If you know the approximate name of a collection and where it is held, use the Browse descriptions option. This will allow you to choose from an alphabetical list of collections for each repository.

! To simplify browsing, some collection titles have been re-ordered, so that "John Smith Brewing papers" will appear as "Smith, John, Brewing Papers". Company names are not re-ordered, so "John Smith Brewing Company papers" will be listed under J.! Use your browser's 'Find (in this page)' option (Ctrl+F) to search a list of titles for a word appearing in the title you want.



The main subjects, individuals, bodies or places represented in a collection have been indexed. The indexes can be browsed (alphabetically), or searched.Some terms in the indexes are cross-references to the preferred term (USE /USE FOR ). Places are linked to larger geographic units (parish to county).

! For long lists, use your browser's 'Find (in this page)' option (Ctrl+F).! The subject terms are created using the Library of Congress Subject Headings. You may therefore need to search for American concepts and spellings. We have provided local variants of some common terms (e.g. 'railways' for 'railroads', 'trades unions' for 'labor unions', and 'cars' for 'automobiles').! The most powerful way of exploiting the indexing is to use the Search the indexes option. Searching the 'Full Index' may produce a lot of hits. You can search the Personal Name index for an occupation, date or place, as well as for a name.