Search Tips

Archival Records Organization:

We organize by who CREATED the records not by subject

We keep records in ORIGINAL ORDER or the same order the creator of the records kept them in

Archival Jargon:

Fonds - all of the records of one creator, sometimes casually called a 'collection'

Collection - records not created but 'collected' by someone, PAS has very few of these

Series - a major subdivision of a collection, or the records of an entire government agency

File and Items - a subdivision of a series, literally a file folder or an individual photo or other item

Finding aids or Guides - a tool to learn about the history of a creator and the records in their fonds

Digital Object - a digitized version of the item attached to the record description, often a photo or pdf

General Material Designation - the physical format of the material

Cartographic Material - a map

Graphic Material - photographs, posters, or other visual records

Moving Images - a film or videocassette

Sound Recording - an audio reel or audio cassette

Textual Record - paper files

Special Search Characters:

Symbol Use
" " Use quotation marks around your search terms to search for that exact phrase Ex"Regina City Hall" would look for all three of those words together and not with only Regina
+ Use this when a word must be in the search result. Ex +Regina City means Regina must show up but city is optional
- Use this when a word must not be be in the search result. Ex -Regina City means no Regina results
? A wildcard for a single character Ex p?per would look for paper and piper but not pepper
* Multiple character wildcard Ex galax? would look for galaxy and galaxies but not galactic

Search tips screenshot with callouts highlighting page elements

  • Use the menu on the far left ('Part of', 'Creator') to look at only the records you searched for that have been identified as belonging to a particular creator or fonds/collection
  • Use 'Advanced Search Options' to open a panel to add search terms with a qualifier ('and', 'or', 'not') to broaden or narrow your search or the 'General Material Designation' to search for formats like 'Graphic items' (photographs)
  • Click the 'Show results with digital objects' link in the top centre to see all the digitized photos and documents attached to descriptions
  • Use the 'Sort by' drop down on th far right to change the order of your list. 'Relevance', 'Title', 'Start Date', and 'End Date' are often the most useful
  • Use the paperclip icon on the right side to save a particular description to a clipboard for later use. Use the big paperclip at the top right menu to see your saved records and print them