Using the Archive

The Archive can be searched in a number of ways. Users can browse by:

1. item

2. collection

3. exhibit.

Items are individual records of the individual issues, for example The Honest Ulsterman issue for August 1968.

Collections are collated records of a specific nature. For instance the 'Honest Ulsterman' collection contains all the records of issues of that particular magazine excluding all others. 'Honest Ulsterman Publications' contains only records of the pamphlets and related material that were published by the Honest Ulsterman. It does not contain records of the Honest Ulsterman magazine.

Exhibits are various records of a more pictorial or graphic nature that we have collated into a gallery-type format. They can be browsed by subject and within that for example by year or type. Clicking on the 'Honest Ulsterman Cover Art' will take you to photos of and information on Honest Ulsterman magazine covers.

You can then click on a particular year. You can also search a particular decade/year. For example all issues of the Honest Ulsterman published in 1970 and 1971 are on the HU 1970/71 tab on the drop-down menu. Using the Search Bar. To perform a basic search, type the keyword you want to search for in the field and either hit enter on your keyboard or click the Search (magnifying glass) button.

The Archive can be searched in three ways using:

1. Keyword

2. Boolean

3. Exact Match

Keyword is a general search.

Boolean is a search in which you can add Boolean operators like AND and NOT.

Exact Match which will only find exact matches to the word or phrase you enter. Exact match searches will look for the exact string given by the user, anywhere in the record. For example a search for 'war' would also return 'warn'. 

You can search by Item, Collection and Page plus by Exhibit and Item identification number and range in the Advanced Search Option.


Please note a search of the archive will only bring up records for particular magazines. It WILL NOT bring up individual poems or prose for instance.

The database (MySQL) the Archive uses by default does not index any words shorter than 4 letters long so for example if you are searching for the terms 'war' or 'sex' using the Keyword search they will not appear. It is better to use the Exact Match search in these instances.

MySQL considers terms that appear in over 50% of indexed items to be so common that it excludes them from keyword searches. The easy way to tell if a term meets the the 50% threshold that's at fault is to choose the Boolean search, as MySQL does not apply the 50% limitation to Boolean searches.

We would probably recommend using either Exact Match or Keyword. Boolean often doesn't give the desired results we've found. Keyword however as stated above won't recognise search terms containing four or less letters.