Hunterian Art Gallery, Mackintosh Online Catalogue - SEARCH HELP

Simple searches

To search for a particular item (or type of item) in a collection, pick a word or phrase which describes what you are looking for, and type it into the box labelled Keyword.

For example, to search for all the items to do with flowers, type "flower" into the box and then click on the button labelled Search. This search would return everything in the collection where the record contains the word "flower" somewhere; for example, this search will return information about:

watercolours of flowers

textile designs featuring flowers

items of furniture featuring flower designs

The searches are not case-sensitive; so the search "FLOWER" will return exactly the same results as "flower" or even "floWER".

Using AND, OR & NOT in searches

If you put several words in your search term, eg:

furniture oak glass

the search engine assumes that you want records containing all these terms, so will only return records with all three words in them. This is the same as typing:

furniture and oak and glass

However, you can use the logical terms AND, OR or NOT if you want. These words will have their usual logical meaning, so just use them as you would in normal english.

For example:

furniture or oak or glass

will return all the records containing any of the words "furniture", "oak" or "glass"; this will give lots of records that are pieces of furniture with no oak or glass, as well as glass items that are not furniture.

Searching for:

flower and not watercolour

will return all the objects that are not watercolours but feature flowers.

Using brackets in searches

If you wish to do more complicated searches using AND or OR, you will need to use brackets to make sure that the search engine does exactly what you want, just as in arithmetic you would use brackets to specify the meaning of a sum; 3 × (2 + 1) is not the same as (3 × 2) + 1

For example, supposing you want to find any textiles or items of furniture that feature flowers, you might search for:

textile or furniture and flower

This will actually retrieve all records with the word "textile", including those which do not feature flowers, as well as all the furniture that does feature flowers. This is because the system will interpret your search as "textile or (furniture and flower)"

To get the search you want, add brackets around the two things you want the "or" to apply to:

(textile or furniture) and flower

In general, brackets are used to "group" expressions that should go together, just as in arithmetic.

Searching for an exact phrase

You can search for an exact phrase by enclosing it in quotation marks.

For example, you might search for:

Jack and Jill

This search would return all the records containing the words "Jack" and "Jill", but not necessarily together.

If you searched for:

"Jack and Jill"

however, the search would only return records containing the exact phrase "Jack and Jill".

Such searches can be combined with AND, OR or NOT in the usual way.

Using wildcards in searches

The characters * and ? are used as "wildcards".

A star(*) in a search term can be replaced by any number of letters. For example:


would return records that matched "Smith", "Smits", "Smithers", "Smithson" etc.

A question mark(?) can be replaced by any single letter, so searching for:


would return records matching "Smith" or "Smits", but not "Smithers" or "Smithson", and:


would return records matching "Smithe".

Using fields in searches

The search engine will normally check each object's entire record for search terms; this can sometimes lead to items being returned which do not appear to be relevant.

For example, to find all the textiles designed or created by Mackintosh's wife Margaret, you might search for:

textile and Margaret

This search would return textiles by Margaret, but it would also return some other textiles which Margaret did not design or create. This is because the object's record may contain "Margaret" elsewhere in the text.

The information stored about each item in the collections is divided into a number of different fields; you can avoid your search returning irrelevant records by specifying which fields you want the search engine to check.

The available fields are:

To use these fields in a search, include the phrase:


For example:

manufac has Margaret

will return only the items designed or created by Margaret.

Field-limited searches can be combined with brackets and AND, OR and NOT in the same way as normal searches; for example, the search:

textile and (manufac has margaret)

will return only textiles designed or created by Margaret.

Searching for an item by catalogue number

Every object in the Hunterian Art Gallery's collections has a unique catalogue number. This number will usually start with "GLAHA".

If you know the catalogue number of the work(s) you are looking for, type it into the box labelled Museum number:, without the prefix (i.e. without "GLAHA") and click on the Search button beside this box.

For example, to search for the painting with catalogue number "GLAHA 41015", simply type:


into the Museum number box.

Illegal characters in search terms

Some characters, such as '$', or ':' are not recognised by the search engine and will cause an error.

Try to use only alphabetical characters (i.e. 'a'..'z' and 'A'..'Z' ), numbers and wildcard characters ('*' and '?').

For more information...

If you have any other queries about using the search pages, please email