The search page is divided in two parts: basic search and advanced search enabling the user to combine a wide range of criteria.

search page

In its simplest form, a text box will be presented to the user, where they can state the terms that best describe the desired documentation. This option will search the terms in the metadata records, regardless of the field where they are present (1).

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you write the search expressions, DO NOT include words with 3 letters or less, commonly known as "stop words" (of, the, or, and, etc.)

  • Contains all words: it's the default option, and searches for documents containing all filled terms. If you enter, for example, the term "inquisition Lisbon" you will retrieve records where the terms "inquisition" and "Lisbon" are present in the title field, and the terms can be adjacent or separated.
  • Contains exact phrase: similar to the previous option, but only searches for documents containing all terms adjacent in the indicated order.
  • Contains any word: searches for records that have at least one of the requested terms. If you enter the term "inquisition Lisbon", it will be retrieved records where the title has the terms "inquisition", "Lisbon" or "inquisition Lisbon".
  • Does not contain words: returns records that do not contain all the terms selected. If you enter the term "inquisition lisbon", all records containing these words (alone or combined) will be omitted from the results.
  • Does not contain exact phrase: similar to the previous option, but only omits results that contain the selected adjacent terms.

If the user knows when the documentation was produced, then she can fill in the respective fields (2). This will refine the search results. Note that the returned results are derived from the intersections of dates.

Possible search examples:

  1. If you enter the year 1800 as the starting date, the search will return all records dated 1800 and later
  2. If you enter the same year as the final date, the search will return all records dated 1800 and earlier
  3. If you enter a range between 1800 and 1850, the search will return all records that:
    1. Are between the entered period, including extreme dates (1800, 1850)
    2. Contain one of the dates in the provided period, even if the other date is outside that scope, e.g. records with an initial date of 1810 and final date of 1900 will be retrieved. Note that in this case the final date is outside the indicated period, but not the initial date. For this reason the record is recovered.

Finally, you can also search for documents that have digital representations associated (images, pdfs, etc.) (3).

Advanced search

In this option, search will focus on a specific field, instead of searching in all of the existing description fields.

You may select which fond(s) / collections where the record search should focus. (4)

This field allows you to search by the reference code (5). If you possess this value, it will be the best way to retrieve the record you are looking for.

All the fields listed above correspond to the fields that are used in frequent searches. However, the user can add more fields to the search by clicking "Search other fields." Each time you click, a new field is added to the search form. You may change the selected field to where you want to focus the search, the search terms and the type of search you want the system to perform (explained above for the "Title" field) (6), or scope and content (7).

You may also search for the description level(s) of the document (8). The documentation is organized according to a structure of archival description that goes from the general (Fonds or Collection) to the specific (Composed Document or Simple Document).

The results presented will always be derived from the combination of all the selected search criteria. When the user has doubts about the accuracy of the selected criteria, it is wiser to remove it in order to get the expected result.

In the area of quick access points a set of searches returning a given set of records are selected (1). Helps the search of all fonds, or all records with digital representations associated.


The "Explore" option aims to help navigation in controlled vocabularies, visualizing the relations and associated documentation for each term.

explore page

Through the controlled vocabularies navigation (2), besides visualizing the terms that compose a given vocabulary (and respective hierarchy), we can also directly access all the records that may be associated to each term.

Search results

results page

The search results shows the number of results of the conducted search and 10 results records per page. For each entry (1) is presented the common information, such as title, scope content, dates, reference code and the current physical location.

You can view the complete record by clicking the respective link (2), or by clicking on the record title. If you want to keep a record for future reference, you can add it to your personal list of records (3). Other available operations are export the records added to the list to CSV (Excel), or send the records by email.

A thumbnail image will appear if the record has associated representations, and you can access the viewer page by clicking on the image (4).

You can also refine your search using the filters available on the right side of the interface. In the end, you should press the button "Apply Filters" (6).

Description details

record details page

When viewing a metadata record, you will be presented with a page divided into 3 sections:

  • Classification plan (1), where it is shown a hierarchical view of fonds that contains the displayed record. The user can browse through the hierarchy to navigate between records.
  • Record details (2), where it shows all the record metadata.
  • Here you can perform the following operations:
    • View the associated representations, if the records has associations to any digital representation (3);
    • Add to my list, as explained before, places the record in your personal list;
    • Create a request in the Virtual Reference Room – if the institution has this module active, you'll be redirected to the respective form for the submission of a new request (reproduction, consultation, etc.) (4);
    • Share on social networks (5);

Representation viewer

digital objects viewer page

In this viewer users can see all files (images, videos, pdfs, etc..) associated to the record. If at any time you wish to return to the metadata view, just press the button in (1) to return to viewing the description record.

If you want to switch between thumbnail or tree view, or fullscreen, simply press the appropriate icon (2).

To navigate between the various representations, you can press directly on the thumbnail you wish to view (6), use the arrow keys on the keyboard (left and right), or the icons shown in (3).

A set of tools to view a file are avaliable (7), namely image zoom or image rotation (4).

In (5) are the buttons to download the image you are viewing or all the digital objects associated to a document, and also the button to print the current representation.

The details and metadata of the selected representation are displayed by clicking the button (8), and it is possible to share the viewed image on the social networks (9).