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Medieval Memoria Online

Manual 4. Search using Search database

The MeMO Search database function enables the user to use three search forms to perform separate searches of:

  • Objects: tomb monuments and floor slabs, and memorial images
  • Text carriers: text carriers that contain narrative sources that has a function in the commemoration of the dead and/or memorial registers
  • Original institutions: the institutions in which the objects and texts had a function

The search forms for each of the three databases allow the specification of one or more search terms. These terms can be typed by the user, or they can be selected from the existing menus. All objects, text carriers or institutions will be shown if no term is specified in the search form.

The three search forms have a similar design. They contain four types of search fields:

  • Free text fields: in these fields text can be entered, such as names and descriptions, or parts of these. Many text fields work with AJAX technology, which provides a completion facility when entering terms. When the user has entered a few letters, the possible values for that field are matched to that specific letter combination, and the matching ones are shown immediately. The user can then select one of these results.
  • Date fields: these fields can be used to enter a year or period. An approximate date can be indicated with ‘ca.’, or by using the symbols ‘>’ and ‘<‘. PLEASE NOTE: the symbols and ‘ca.’ must be used immediately before the dates without a blank space.
  • Yes/no menus: these can be used to indicate whether objects, text carriers or holding institutions have certain characteristics, such as whether portraits are present on an object, or whether the original institution where a text was used is known. PLEASE NOTE: If an object or text carrier consists of several components, then ‘no’ means that the selected characteristic does not occur on at least one of the components of the object text carrier. It is however possible that such a characteristic does occur on other parts of an object, or in other texts in a text carrier. For instance: if an objects has more than one inscription not all of these inscriptions necessarily contain a name. Search offers a possibility to select on inscriptions without a name. The result list can include objects with an inscription without a name that also contain other inscriptions with a name.
  • Menus (drop down lists): an overview of the terms or descriptions used in the database for certain aspects. It is possible to add multiple values from the drop down lists by clicking the plus icon behind the field, which provides additional search fields. The additional search fields can be removed by clicking the minus icon.

A large number of search fields are followed by a question mark. If you click on this question mark you find a short explanation of the possibilities of this search field.

Survey of the design of the search forms
The following table provides a description of the various fields in the search forms:

Feature Description
Memorial objects Searches the memorial objects database.
Please note: the default search form is the search form for the Memorial objects. Remember to click Text carriers or Institutions if you wish to search these databases.
Text carriers Searches the text carriers database.
Institutions Searches the database with the original institutions where the objects and texts originated.
Search This button is used to execute the search.
Clear PLEASE NOTE: this button is used to remove earlier selection criteria that you may have entered.
Require all When this box is checked only records matching all the specified search fields are returned. Search fields that are left blank are ignored. If multiple alternatives are specified for a search field (with the plus-button) then records matching any or the alternatives are returned.
→ Expand This button is used to expand the choice of search fields. Click the icon or the label for more specific search fields.
↓ Collapse This button is used to deselect the choice of search fields.
? Help function with explanations about the practical usage of the search fields. A number of these help texts contain links to more detailed explanations in the introduction to the database (i.e. the body of texts you are reading now).
+ and – button The + button is used to add another search field of the same type, allowing you to enter multiple search terms of the same type. The – button is used to remove the additional field.