How to Search

This database is structured to allow you to search for material in a number of ways using browse, keyword and advanced search. A combination of strategies will produce the best results.

You can view all records in the database by choosing the Sources > All Records menu.

Individual records and collections are also listed under their holding Repositories (Sources > Repositories), but are also discoverable through the Collections menu (Sources > Collections).

Simple — or free text searches

Enter text such as the names of people, places or things in the Search Box in the upper-right corner of the Home Page. For example, inputting the word 'lease' into the search box will return over 1,000 results pertaining to property-ownership or conveyance.


You can search by keyword. A list of the available keywords is found under the Sources > Keyword menu. All entries in the database have been tagged with one or more keywords, identifying dominant or over-arching themes within a record and tying records to important historical events. You are encouraged to use the keyword search in conjunction with other approaches, in order to ensure optimal results.

Advanced Search

This allows for greater specificity in searching for a free text word or phrase by allowing you to constrain your search by selecting one or more repositories, collections or keywords. You can also restrict the date by using the sliders on the date range tool. Please note that while the majority of records are supplied with a specific or approximate date, there are a number of records that are not.

Searching a Single Repository

If you want to search the list of an individual repository, items can be arranged chronologically or alphabetically by item or collection by clicking on the relevant section of the bar at the top of any list. So, for example, if you go into Meath Local Studies and Family History Department and click ‘Date’ on the purple bar, the dates will be listed chronologically. Similarly, if you click ‘Collection’ the items will be listed from A to Z.


Selecting the Visualisations button on the homepage or from the menu options allows you to display the records in the database in various ways.

You can display the records by Location or by Networks of records (1) held in a specific Repository or group of Repositories or (2) associated with a particular Keyword or group of Keywords.

If you display the records by Location there are two options. You can look at the records held by any repository by selecting it on the map (blue dots). The records held are displayed and selecting them will take you back to the respective entry in the database. Alternatively, you can select a county-level view of records (red dots) and all records where the county name occurs will be displayed. Again these lead back to the records in the database.

It is also possible to perform a Network analysis by selecting one or more entries within the respective lists of Repositories or Keywords. This allows you to explore the variety of records held within a repository or group of repositories (in the Repositories Network) or to examine thematic links between selected Keywords (in the Keywords Network). The display indicates the number of records corresponding to the keyword/repository relationships. The network visualisations do not link back to individual records in the database.

General Information

Many of the longer records from the original Directory of Sources for Women’s History CD-ROM have been divided into individual records, but this was not possible or practicable in every instance. For example, in some instances, a listing will provide an impression of records held in a repository, not an archival description. As a result, some records could not be separated without losing necessary context.

Similarly, while many of the original entries were supplied with reference numbers and collection names, many others were not. As a result, some entries will appear en bloc and without a collection name or reference number. In some cases, the reference numbers provided will have changed since the publication of the original Directory.