Are you still lost?
If you're still lost, please contact us here or ring us on 020 8718 2800.
- How do I search the catalogue?
- Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?
- Why is there no image/ a poor quality image for my items?
- Can I use the images for my study or research?
- What does Access Status mean?
- How do I access the documents/ garments I’ve found in the catalogue?
How do I search the catalogue?
There are three ways to search. Use our search box on the Catalogue Home page to type what you’re looking for, just like you would if you were using Google.
Use 'Browse Themes' to have a look at what we’ve got on a particular subject.
For more specific searches, use Advanced Search. A text box lets you search the title and description fields for your chosen terms. You can narrow your search to look for specific dates, parts of the collection or just records that have got images. The more fields you use, the more specific your search will be.
You can select from subject areas, or even specific archive series to search within.
For example, searching for 'dress' across the whole collection would find results which could include a photograph of a dress, or a report mentioning a dress.
Searching for 'dress' within Archive series: Products and Packaging [T] would only include dresses held in our garment collection.
Our Collection Guide (pdf) may help you identify relevant archive series to search within.
Why can’t I find what I’m looking for?
Searching will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so try several related terms if you can’t find what you want.
Our collection is currently being catalogued. It might be that we haven’t catalogued the items that you are looking for yet. We are always adding to the catalogue, so please watch this space!
If you can’t find what you are looking for please contact the archive team.
Why is there no image/ a poor quality image for my items?
We’re adding to and upgrading the images we’ve got, but contact us if you can’t find what you need.
Can I use the images for my study or research?
You are welcome to use the images here for personal study or research. Conditions apply and all images are subject to UK copyright law. You must contact the Archive team before using any images in a publication, website, TV programme, film or reproducing them in any way.
What does Access Status mean?
This tells you whether or not the record you are looking at is accessible. Some records are closed in accordance with the Data Protection Act, because they are commercially confidential, or are fragile.
How do I access the documents/ garments I’ve found in the catalogue?
This material is only available in our Reading Room. In some circumstances we can provide digital copies. Contact us for details.
To use the Reading Room you must book an appointment at least one working day in advance, using the Pinboard to tell us what you want to see and when. Opening hours are:
Tuesday – Thursday: 10am-12pm & 1pm-4pm
Friday – Monday: Closed
For more information, see the Collection page of our website, contact us here or ring us on 020-8718-2800.