Research Tips and Tools

The Seattle Municipal Archives has developed guides to resources that may help with certain types of research:

Looking for a photo of your house? Read our Tips for doing research on Seattle buildings and properties for more information about where to look for property photographs and records. Looking for historical information about parks in your neighborhood? See our Tips for doing research on Seattle parks page for helpful info.

We also have several tools that may be of use to researchers:

Thesaurus

This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records. If you find an item that matches what you are searching for, cutting and pasting the subject terms for that item into the index terms search field will bring up similar results.

Neighborhood Map Atlas

Neighborhood districts are determined using this atlas. For databases that are indexed by neighborhood, this tool can help you ensure you're searching on the name we use for a specific area.

Annexation Tool

This interactive map details the legislative history of all annexations to Seattle from 1869 through 1975, including relevant ordinances, dates of annexation, and other related information.

Street Designation Maps

Older documents in the archives often reference street designations as they appeared before the city changed its directional scheme in 1961. These maps show the designations before and after the change.

Descriptions of the types of materials cataloged in each database can be found here.

Research Tips & Tools

Search Tips - Annexed Cities Ordinances

Search Tips - Annexed Cities Ordinances

Starting Your Search

You may enter keywords in any or all of the search boxes:

Title Words: Will retrieve results only when your search terms appear in the title.

Index Terms: Will retrieve results if your keywords match subject terms used in cataloging the publication. See Index Terms below for further explanation.

Ordinance No.: Useful if you know the number of the ordinance you're looking for.

All Index Words: Searching only on this field will retrieve the broadest results, as the database will bring up records where your search terms appear in any of the fields. If you get too many results with this method, you may want to narrow your search using one or more of the first three search boxes.

Documents per Page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include the ordinance number and title. Clicking on the title will bring up a description of the ordinance, including date passed and subject terms. However, it does not link to a digitized version of the file. If you would like to view an ordinance in the research room, please provide Archives staff with the ordinance number.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "streets.ti." will retrieve all records where the word "streets" appears in the Title field. Field names for the Annexed Cities Ordinance Indexes are:

 

TYPE Document Type
CBN Council Bill Number
ORDN Ordinance Number
SPON Sponsor
COMM Committee Referral
STAT Document Status
DATC Document Creation Date
DATM Document Modification Date
DTIR Introduction/Referral Date
DT2R Second Reading Date
DT3R Third Reading Date
DTA Mayor's Sig./Approval Date
DTV Veto Date
DTS Sustained Date
DTO Overridden Date
DTF Date Filed
TI Title
REF References/Related Documents
INDX Index Terms
MISC Comments
VOTE Vote Count
USR User ID of Creator/Modifier
DTSI Date Passed
DTMY Date Presented to Mayor
DTLW Effective Date (becomes law)
PUB Publication information
PG Pages

 

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to any of the date fields, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Archives Guide

Search Tips - Archives Guide

Starting Your Search

Enter any keyword into the search box to bring up records that contain that word. You can choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include the agency that created the records, followed by the name of the record series. Clicking on the series name will bring up a description of the series, including dates, volume of material, description, and subject terms. Many records have links to a full list of folder titles within the series. The ID at the top of the page is the unique identifier for the record series; use this six-digit number with Archives staff if you have a question or request pertaining to these records.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "police.sub." will retrieve all records where the word "police" appears in the Subject field. Field names for the Archives Guide are:

TI Title
ID Record Series ID
GRP Record group
VOL Volume
DES Series description
FA Finding aids available
SUB Subject terms
YRS Years
GTI Group record title
GNAM Group record name
GDES Group description

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Years field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Audio

Search Tips - Audio

Starting Your Search

Enter search terms: Enter keywords or index terms in the search box. For example, you can search on the word "police," which will bring up any record with that word in it, or you can search on the subject term "chief-of-police," which will bring up any record about the Police Chief.

Time period: You may narrow your search by choosing a specific time period from the drop-down box.

Documents per page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list of events with audio recordings on that subject. The list provides the number of the recording, the date, the entity holding the meeting, and a brief description. Clicking on the event will provide a fuller description of the event, the duration, and the CD numbers for the event. Information on whether or not minutes or agendas are available for the event is also included.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "westlake.nob." will retrieve all records where the word "westlake" appears in the name of the body holding the meeting or hearing. Field names for the Audio Index are:

RECD Unique identifier for recording
NOB Name of body holding meeting
NOE Name of event
NOP Name of production
DATE Date of event
PLAC Place of event
RECO Recordist name
AGMI Agenda and/or minutes available?
TRAN Transcript available?
DURA Running time of recording in form HH:MM:SS
SUBJ Subject terms from Clerk's thesaurus
SPEK Speaker list in order of appearance if known
SERS Record series
DICO Digital copies

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Folklife Audio Collection

Search Tips - Folklife Audio Collection

Starting Your Search

Enter search terms: Enter any word into the search box. You can search on name, type of music, instrument, band name, or style of music.

Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box.

Full Record: You can choose to display the full record which contains more information about the recording.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list of identification numbers, performer, and date. Clicking on the number will give you a full description of the performance. The recordings are available for listening in the research room at the Seattle Municipal Archives.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. For example, searching on "bittersweet.perf." will retrieve all records where the name Bittersweet is listed as the Performer. Some of the field names useful to search for the Folklife Audio Index are:

COLL Collection that file belongs to (WPF, Washingon Fiddlers Project, or NWFAF, Northwest Folklife)
PERF Name of band or main performer
TYPE Type of recording (music or interview)
GENRE Type or style of music (folksingers, bluegrass, string band, etc.)
LEAD Name of lead musician
OTHM Other musicians or backup band
INST Instruments played on the recording
DATE Date of original recording in form YYYYMMDD. Date estimated if not given
LOCN Location of recording
TOC Names of individual items or songs in recording
COMP Composer of individual song
RICO Copyright holders of the compositions
RIPE Owners of performance rights
RIRE Owner of the recording copyright

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - General Files

Search Tips - General Files

Starting Your Search

You may enter keywords in any or all of the search boxes:

Words Anywhere: Searching only on this field will retrieve the broadest results, as the database will bring up records where your search terms appear in any of the fields. If you get too many results with this method, you may want to narrow your search using one or more of the other search boxes.

Title Words: Will retrieve results only when your search terms appear in the title field.

Subject Terms: Will retrieve results if your keywords match subject terms used in cataloging the publication. See Index Terms below for further explanation.

File Number: Useful if you know the file number you're looking for.

Time Period: You may narrow your search by choosing a specific time period from the drop-down box.

Documents per Page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include the document title, date, file number, and box and folder number. Clicking on the title will bring up the full record, including a description of the document, subject terms, and names appearing in the file. If you would like Archives staff to retrieve a file for use in the research room, they will need to know the file number and/or box and folder number.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "sewers.ti." will retrieve all records where the word "sewers" appears in the Title field. Field names for the General Files Index are:

NUM File number
BGYR Beginning year
ENYR Ending year
DATE Main Date in form YYYYMMDD
TI Title
FORM Form and date of documents
ITEM Number of items in file
NOTE Notes
SUB Subject
NAME Personal names
CORP Corporate names
BOX Box number
FOLD Folder number
SER Series code
FC File code
INFO Series information link

 

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Years field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Maps

Search Tips - Maps

Starting Your Search

You may enter keywords in any or all of the search boxes:

Title Words: Will retrieve results only when your search terms appear in the title.

Index Terms: Will retrieve results if your keywords match subject terms used in cataloging the publication. See Index Terms below for further explanation.

Ordinance No.: Useful if you know the number of the ordinance you're looking for.

All Index Words: Searching only on this field will retrieve the broadest results, as the database will bring up records where your search terms appear in any of the fields. If you get too many results with this method, you may want to narrow your search using one or more of the first three search boxes.

Documents per Page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include the ordinance number and title. Clicking on the title will bring up a description of the ordinance, including date passed and subject terms. However, it does not link to a digitized version of the file. If you would like to view an ordinance in the research room, please provide Archives staff with the ordinance number.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "streets.ti." will retrieve all records where the word "streets" appears in the Title field. Field names for the Annexed Cities Ordinance Indexes are:

 

TYPE Document Type
CBN Council Bill Number
ORDN Ordinance Number
SPON Sponsor
COMM Committee Referral
STAT Document Status
DATC Document Creation Date
DATM Document Modification Date
DTIR Introduction/Referral Date
DT2R Second Reading Date
DT3R Third Reading Date
DTA Mayor's Sig./Approval Date
DTV Veto Date
DTS Sustained Date
DTO Overridden Date
DTF Date Filed
TI Title
REF References/Related Documents
INDX Index Terms
MISC Comments
VOTE Vote Count
USR User ID of Creator/Modifier
DTSI Date Passed
DTMY Date Presented to Mayor
DTLW Effective Date (becomes law)
PUB Publication information
PG Pages

 

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to any of the date fields, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Motion Picture Film

Search Tips - Motion Picture Film

Starting Your Search

Words in film description: Enter any word into the first search box to bring up films that have descriptive data containing that word.
Subject terms: Will retrieve results if your keywords match subject terms used in cataloging the publication. See Index Terms below for further explanation.
Limit search to main topic: You may search all films or limit your search to a specific topic from the drop down menu, such as "Streets and Traffic."
Time period: You may narrow your search by choosing a specific time period from the drop-down box.
Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list of films and associated item numbers. Clicking on the film title will provide a fuller description of the film, including the producer, the date, length and running time, color or black and white, silent or sound, and whether or not there is a digital copy.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "col.col.." will retrieve all films in color; a search on "bw.col." will retrieve all black and white films. Field names for the Archives Motion Picture Film Index are:

ID Record Series ID
TI Film title
SUB Subject terms
BOX Box Number
NUM Item Number
ONUM Original ID Number
ACC Accession Number
DATE Date
NAT Nature of film
COL Color of film
LEN Size code
CON Condition
NOTE Notes
CRED Main Credits
CONN Condition notes
SND Sound
SPD Projection speed
GAU Film gauge (mm)
NAME Names
PRFM Print form
PLAC Place of publication
SUM Summary of film's contents
ACMT Accompanying material

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000
This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Photographs

Search Tips - Photographs

Starting Your Search

Enter search terms: Enter any word into the first search box to bring up photos that have descriptive data containing that word.
Time period: You may narrow your search by choosing a specific time period from the drop-down box.
Neighborhood district: You may also limit results to one neighborhood district.
Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box. If you have a high-speed internet connection, you may wish to select a higher number.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as thumbnail images with some basic information to the right. Click on the image to see a larger view along with the full catalog record. The Item Number is the image's unique identifier; use this number with Archives staff if you have a question or request pertaining to an image.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

House Photos

Information on how to find a photo of a house may be found elsewhere on this website.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Neighborhoods

Neighborhood districts are determined using the Seattle City Clerk's Office Neighborhood Map Atlas. If your search on a specific neighborhood isn't bringing up the results you expect, you may want to consult the atlas to check the name we have used for the area.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. For example, searching on "jones.phot." will retrieve all records where the name Jones appears in the Photographer field. Field names for the Photograph Index are:

ID Record Series ID
DES Item description
SUB Subject terms
BOX Box Number
NUM Item Number
ONUM Original ID Number
DATE Date
TYPE Item Type
NP Negative/Positive
SIZE Size code
CON Condition
NOTE Notes
ACC Accession Number
CONN Condition notes
PR Print
DI Digital image
OTH Other related item number
NAME Names
PHOT Photographer

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000
This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Published Documents

Search Tips - Published Documents

Starting Your Search

You may enter keywords in any or all of the search boxes:

Words in Title: Will retrieve results only when your search terms appear in the title.

Words in Author Name: Will retrieve results only when your search terms appear in the author field.

Index Terms: Will retrieve results if your keywords match subject terms used in cataloging the publication. See Index Terms below for further explanation.

Words Anywhere: Searching only on this field will retrieve the broadest results, as the database will bring up records where your search terms appear in any of the fields. If you get too many results with this method, you may want to narrow your search using one or more of the first three search boxes.

Documents per Page: You can also choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include the document number, publication title, and author. Clicking on the title will bring up the full catalog record for the publication, including dates, number of pages, and subject terms. The Item Number at the bottom of the catalog record is the unique identifier for the document; use this number with Archives staff if you would like to have a document pulled for use in the research room.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Index Terms

If your keywords are not retrieving the results you expect, you may want to browse our thesaurus. This is a list of standardized subject terms we use to maintain consistency in our cataloging. For example, we use the term "landfills"; if you are searching on "dumps," your search may not bring up all the relevant records.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "development.ti." will retrieve all records where the word "development" appears in the Title field. Field names for the Archives Guide are:

ID Document ID
TI Title
UTI Uniform title
AU Author
UAU Uniform author
SPON Sponsor
CITY City of publication
PUBL Publisher
YEAR Year of publication
DATE Date of publication
PNO Publication number
NOTE Content notes
SUB Subject terms
LOC Location
PHYS Physical description

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Date field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Search the database

Search Tips - Subject Files

Search Tips - Subject Files

Starting Your Search

Enter any keyword into the search box to bring up records that contain that word. You can choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list. Each item will include four pieces of information: the record series number, which will be a six-digit number in the form of 0000-00; the box and folder number, expressed as 1/1 (this would be box 1, folder 1); the dates covered by materials in that file; and the folder title. If you would like Archives staff to retrieve a file for use in the research room, they will need to know the record series number and the box/folder number.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Clicking on the record series number will bring you to a description of the series as a whole, including the creating agency. Clicking on the folder title will bring up a record for that folder. This will sometimes provide additional information about the file. However, it does not link to a digitized version of the file.

Index Terms

This database does not include standardized subject terms from our thesaurus, only the folder titles themselves. You may need to be creative in your search terms to retrieve all the records on a particular topic. For example, some agencies may have used the term "waterfront" in their folder titles while others used "harborfront." You would need to search on both terms to retrieve all the files that may pertain to that subject.

Advanced Searching

By default the search operator "and" is inserted between any two terms entered into the search field. This means that if you enter more than one search term, only records containing all of those terms will be retrieved. Some terms will help further define your search:

  • or: Connecting search terms with "or" will retrieve records that contain any one of the terms.
  • "": Quotation marks can be used around a phrase to bring up records containing that exact phrase.
  • near: Using "near" to connect search terms will retrieve records where those terms appear in the same sentence (in any order). To be more precise, you may add a number; for example, "near3" will retrieve records containing the two terms within three words of each other.

Note that the words and, or, near, with, and same are not searchable terms.

Restricting a Search to a Database Field

Sometimes it is helpful to restrict a search to a certain field in a database record. To do this, enter your search term followed by a dot, then the field code, then another dot. Searching on "1952.bgyr." will retrieve all records where the beginning of the file's date span is 1952. Field names for the Subject File Index are:

 

SER Series code
BOX Box number
FOLD Folder number
BGYR Beginning year
ENYR Ending year
TI Title
FC File code
NUM Associated file number
SUB Subject
INFO Series information link
SCAN Link to digital content

 

Searching by Date

To retrieve items from a particular year or span of years, restrict the search to the Beginning Year or End Year field, in combination with any other fields, using the following format:
@date>=19770000 and @date<=19790000

This example would retrieve all items published in 1977 and 1978. 1977 is the year, the next four digits represent the month and day; using zeros requires the search to include the entire year.

Searching for digital content

To retrieve all digital content search: $PDF.SCAN.
You can narrow this search by combing it with a series number.

Search the database

Search Tips - WTO Accountability Review Committee Documents

Search Tips - WTO Accountability Review Committee Documents

Starting Your Search

Words Anywhere: Enter any word into the first search box to bring up items that have descriptive data containing that word.

Title Words: You may narrow your search by searching on any word that appears only in the title of the document.

Subject Terms: You may also refine your search using terms from the WTO thesaurus. Click on "Subject Terms" on the search page to get a list of terms.

Words in Author Name: This list is useful to obtain the correct form of agency or departmental names and to browse for names.

Words in All Names: You can search on all name fields (author, persons named, intended recipient, etc.) by entering names in this field.

Document Type: All documents were classified by type (e.g., business card, press release, video). Use the drop-down list if you would like to narrow your search to a specific type of document.

Documents per page: Choose the number of documents that will appear on each page of your search results by using the "Documents per Page" box.

Search Behavior: You can search for every word in your search, wherever it appears, by leaving the default operator in the optional settings at "and" where it is by default. If you would like to search on one word or another, but not both together, choose "or." For example, you could enter "anarchist pepper" in the title field, choose "or" as the default operator and only get titles with "anarchist" where "pepper" does not appear and "pepper" in the title where "anarchist" does not appear. If you would like to search on two words only if they are near each other, in any order, choose the "adj" connector.

Search Results

Your search results will appear as a list with the item number, title, author and file location information. Click on the item to get a fuller description that includes all persons named in the document, length, and other information.

WTO documents are not available online; you must come to the Seattle Municipal Archives to view them. To request items you would like to see you will need the item number and the title (for example: arc7969, SPD 13, Unsorted). All items are from the WTO Accountability Review Committee Document Catalog, Record Series 1802-K1, Clerk File 304446.

The WTO Accountability Review Committee homepage has a very useful summary of the work of the WTO Committees and a timeline of events.

Wild Cards

These two characters can be helpful if you're uncertain of the spelling of a name or word, or if you want to bring up records that contain related words with the same stem.

  • ?: A question mark matches any single character.
  • $: A dollar sign matches any ending to a word root.
  • For example:
    • theat?? : matches theater or theatre
    • theat$ : matches theater, theatre, theatrical, etc.

Search the database