Help with Subject thesaurus/Place/Name authority searching
What will be searched?
How do I search from the subject terms?
How do I search from place name index terms?
How do I search from personal name index terms?
How do I search from corporate name index terms?
Have all the descriptions been indexed?
How are the index terms constructed?
AIM25 descriptions of archive collections are held in a format known as ISAD(G), which is the agreed general international standard for archival description. Every description contains a number of fields, each of which carries specific information about the archival collection described (reference, title, dates etc). Descriptions are also indexed by subjects and by names of persons, corporate organizations, and places associated with the description and these indexing terms or 'index entries' are listed at the end of each description. Subject thesaurus and Name index assisted searching uses these index entries. The index entries are limited to those available in the database, so they guarantee at least one hit on a relevant description.
From the search menu, select whether you wish to view subject terms arranged in alphabetical order or in hierarchical lists. For example on selecting 'Alphabetical', if you wished to see if there were any descriptions linked to Leprosy, you would select the alphabetical grouping of search terms in which Leprosy would fall (for instance Lecturers-Liberalism). Clicking on this grouping brings up all index terms arranged in alphabetical order between these two terms. On scrolling down the list to Leprosy, you can simply click on Leprosy to see descriptions linked to this search term. Your search results are returned as a list which gives the name of the repository holding the collection, the title of the collection, the date on which the description was compiled, and an abstract of the introductory phrase from the Scope and Content field to give an indication of the contents of the collection. Simply click on a title to view the full description.
You will notice that Leprosy is displayed as follows:
- Leprosy [UH]
- MT 2.85 Pathology
- BT1 Infectious diseases [U] Linked terms
- BT2 Diseases [U] Linked terms
- BT3 Pathology [UH] Linked terms
- RT Bacteria [UH] Linked terms
- RT Tropical diseases [U] Linked terms
This denotes that Leprosy is a term which occurs in the UNESCO Thesaurus [U] and in the HSH Thesarus [H]. It is placed in UNESCO under the Micro Thesaurus [MT] heading of Pathology, reference 2.85. Leprosy is a Narrower Term [NT] of Infectious diseases, which is its corresponding Broader Term, and has successive Broader Terms of Diseases and Pathology. There are also Related Terms [RT] Bacteria and Tropical diseases. Any of these terms can be searched on, simply by clicking. You can also navigate your way around the thesaurus by clicking on 'Linked terms' which will take you to that term's place in the alphabetical thesaurus. So if you clicked on the Linked terms next to Tropical diseases, it would show you all the terms linked to it, such as
Tropical diseases [U]
- MT 2.85 Pathology
- BT1 Diseases [U] Linked terms
- BT2 Pathology [UH] Linked terms
- NT1 Beri-beri [A] Linked terms
- NT1 Bilharzia [A] Linked terms
- NT1 Dengue fever [A] Linked terms
- NT1 Elephantiasis [A] Linked terms
[and so forth]
In this list we can see terms marked [A], which means that they are AIM25 terms, added to the thesaurus because of their importance in locating particular collections.
To perform the search, click on the term of interest. You will see search results returned as a list which gives the name of the repository holding the collection, the title of the collection, the date on which the description was compiled, and an abstract of the introductory phrase from the Scope and Content field to give an indication of the contents of the collection. Click on a title to view the full description.
Place names may be searched in the same way as subject terms. Names are presented as alphabetical lists and as hierarchical lists in exactly the same way as the subject terms. The place name hierarchy is based upon the UNESCO thesaurus, section 7, for example:
- Farnborough [A]
- MT 7.20 Europe
- BT1 Hampshire [A] Linked terms
- BT2 England [U] Linked terms
- BT3 UK [U] Linked terms
- BT4 Western Europe [U] Linked terms
Personal names used to index AIM25 descriptions are presented alphabetically, with one page per letter of the alphabet. At the top and foot of each page is a set of links to the full alphabet.
The alphabetical list gives the names in National Council on Archives (NCA) format, together with any alternative forms of a name. Where alternatives exist, each alternative will be listed separately in the appropriate alphabetical location.
Each name in the lists is a search link, and selecting a name takes you to a list of matching descriptions identical to that found in the subject searches.
Corporate names are presented alphabetically in exactly the same way as personal names.
The majority of descriptions have been indexed. Priority in the project has been given first to the compilation of descriptions, and their indexing has followed later. If you do not find what you are looking for, you are advised to try the Quick and Advanced searching, as well as the browse facilities.
AIM25 uses subject terms taken from the UNESCO thesaurus, with the inclusion of terms at a more detailed level or for cross referring purposes from other thesauri where appropriate. These include, for instance, terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Medical Subject Headings (MESH) and the Australian Human Services and Health Thesaurus (HSH). The AIM25 version of the UNESCO Thesaurus also includes more specialised subject terms contributed by AIM25 repositories, the Public Record Office, the AIM25 Project team, the British Education Thesaurus, Library of Congress subject terms, and the SOAS Missionary thesaurus, where they are considered to be helpful in locating descriptions. The provenance of subject terms is marked against each term in the alphabetical or hierarchical lists. For example UNESCO terms are marked with a [U] and AIM25 added terms are marked with [A]. Personal and corporate names are formulated according to the Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names developed and published by the UK National Council on Archives (1997). Place names are fitted into the country groupings given in section 7 of the UNESCO Thesaurus, with the addition of Seas, Oceans and Arctic Regions.