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Click here to access to our stories featuring images from our collections and related materials ranging from Unusual takes, voices to biographies and more. Click here to find a feature debate and other debates related to some of our subjects and topics found with the READ section, please note, you need to be a registered user to participate in debates Click here to browse or search for images and related materials.  Alternatively use the advanced search for more detailed queries. Click here to create your own web galleries using our image collections or to personalise your experience within Ingenious.  Please note that you need to be a registered user to work with the CREATE tools.  Go to the 'Register' link to utilise Ingenious Create Tools Menu Log in Menu Search
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Searching Ingenious

Ingenious has a vast number of digitised resources for you to discover. There are different ways to search for this material. Some images and other resources are available within the topics in the READ section. However these are a just a small selection from the 30,000 images, objects and library records that are also on the site. To access these you will need to use the SEE section.

You have two choices within the SEE section for finding material. If you don't know what you want to see and only want to browse a large number of images or museum objects within a specific subject use the Browse option.


Images and objects are divided into 79 subjects grouped under seven broad categories. You can also see these subjects listed in the Site Map. So, if you are interested in ‘lighting', click on Society & Wars and then on Lighting.

You can browse through the selection by clicking on next to retrieve further images. If you want to see more information about an image, click on it and it will reappear together with a description. Click on the image again if you want to see it in more detail.


You can also search for specific people, places or keywords. You can either use the search box on the top-right of the screen or use the search box within the SEE section. If you use the search box in SEE you can also limit the search to the subjects used in Browse.


You can enter a single word or more. Ingenious supports Boolean searching so you can expand or limit you search using the operators AND, OR and NOT. These need to be in upper case.

If you use two or more words Ingenious will automatically assume that you are interested in records where both words exist so you do not need to use an AND. Both of these searches will retrieve the same hits.

fish chips

fish AND chips

If you want to see resources which include either of the words, then you will need to insert 'OR' between your search words.

fish OR chips

You can limit searches by excluding words using NOT

fish NOT chips

You can limit your search to a specific phrase by enclosing it in inverted commas

“fish and chips”

You can also truncate words by adding a question mark to the end. So this search retrieves records that include both ‘chip' and ‘chips'


This can be combined with other operators to limit your search further

chip? NOT fish

You can also combine searches using parentheses. This search will retrieve balloon, balloons or ballooning, but not in France or the United States.

balloon? NOT (france OR states)

People and places

The same search box can be used for looking for people. In most records names are entered surname first followed by initials or first names, followed by dates of birth and death. But you don't need to enter them like this. In fact you will retrieve more by entering just two names

Isaac Newton

You can also copy and paste a name you find into a search box. This will limit your search to those entries that include this exact form of the name

Newton, Isaac, Sir, 1642-1727

You can search for places by typing the modern name of the place in the search box.

Search result summary

Once you have entered a search and pressed return a summary page will appear. This will show if there are results in READ, DEBATE or SEE. The results for SEE are divided into images or books and journal articles. If you click on either section in SEE you will see that the search results are repeated along the top so you can change section whenever you want.

You can use the box on the right to limit your search further: by broad subject or by Museum. You can add further search words using the operators described above or you can enter an entirely new search. This search box also appears on the right on the ‘Search results' page.

Navigating between records

Individual images and other text records are often linked to other parts of Ingenious. Links to Broad subjects are shown in the ‘Subject(s)' field. If the record or image has been used in a topic this is shown in ‘Appears in'. Records for images, objects and books are linked to each other using ‘Related to'. Clicking on the text will take you to the subject, topic or related record. Related images are shown as thumbnails. Clicking on these will take you to the image record.


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