Tips for Searching

There are a number of ways to locate collections and items in the database through keyword searching, advanced searching, or browsing.

Keyword Searching
For a simple and effective search, use the search box located at the top of the page to type in keywords. This will retrieve names, subjects, department titles, descriptions, text, etc. from a number of different fields from each record.

What does the Archives have from the Transportation Design department?
Though there are a number of ways to discover department collections, typing the department name will pull up collection-level records.

I love toast and am designing a toaster for a class. Does the Archives have any previous toaster projects?
Typing “toaster” in the search box will retrieve records with the word toaster in them.

When did the Illustration Department offer fashion illustration classes?
With this search use quotations to search the phrase “fashion illustration.” A number of materials will come up, including Art Center catalogs since the search includes text from the PDF files.

Advanced Searching
When you click on the search box, an “Advanced Search” link will appear. Clicking on “Advanced Search” will open a new page where you can search words in specific fields, and filter the search with criteria such as the type of media (image, video, text), or whether or not there is a digital object available.

I want to see digital images for boat projects.
A search for “boats” with a filter of Media Type=Image and Digital Object Available=Yes, will retrieve only digital images of boats. It will not show any document files, publications, or videos, nor would it display photograph records without an image attached to it.

Several browsing options are available that will help you locate materials, which are displayed both on the left-hand side of the screen and from a drop-down menu at the top left.

Archival descriptions
Every record in the database is known as an “archival description,” so clicking on this will pull up everything which can be narrowed down a number of different ways. The “Level of Description” option to narrow the results is a very useful way to fully understand the archival holdings. The top level of every Art Center collection is called “Department (fonds)” and starting here will provide you with everything in the Archives under that department (there may be multiple collections, photographs, text and video). The “Department (fonds)” also contain department histories, including lists of department chairs and key staff.

The People browsing option is only available by permission and to individuals with logins. It displays a list of people (mainly students and faculty) that have catalog records associated with them. The people records will also tell how the person is associated with Art Center. It is recommended, especially for users without access to the People category, to do a search for a person’s name in the main search box as it will retrieve more records.

Subjects will display links to all of the subject headings used in the catalog records. It could be narrow terms like “vases” to broader terms like “Product Design Department—Student Works.”

Art Center’s different campuses are the links under the Places browsing option. Clicking on one of the place links will display all of the records that were cataloged with that campus address. Note that photographs of classes are always cataloged with the address of the campus. For example, a Product Design class taking place at the 1700 Lida Street campus, would be cataloged under that address.

Digital objects
Clicking Digital objects will display digital images, text, and video that we have uploaded into the system. You cannot sort on this screen, but can filter the results by media. Clicking on a digital object will take you to the collection to which it belongs. So, for example, clicking on a random Transportation Design image will open the archival description for the image within the Transportation Design Department collection.