Household Books Published in Britain: all volumes

Advanced search guide

Volume Information

Active Volumes: There are five volumes in the household books database. These can be search individually or together as a single collection. When all volumes are active the "Home" menu item will be white, and the title of the page will be "Household Books Published in Britain: 1475-1914". The following figure shows what the menus look like when all volumes are selected.

Alternatively, volumes can be worked with individually. To select a specific volume, click the appropriate menu item. Menu buttons contain the following information:

  • Volume number: V1, V2, ..., V5
  • Date range: 1475-1700, 1700-1800, ..., 1800-1914
  • The author's initials: LH, VM, ..., DA
Once a volume is selected it will be displayed in the title of the page. The following figure shows what the system looks like when Volume One is selected.

Matching results: The blue box in the upper right corner of the page shows the number of books matching the current search. It is updated whenever you enter something new into any of the search fields or move any of the slider bars. The next figure shows advanced search running on all volumes (Matching books: 5964). Since no fields are filled in, the search matches everything is in the database.

The second figure illustrates what the interface looks like when an individual volume is selected from the top menu. In this case, only the 378 books covered by Volume 1 are are being searched.

Getting Help

Each field has a small circular icon to the right of the field. Allowing the mouse to hover over the icon will bring up a small help box. See the figure below for an example. Additional information about the search fields can be found in the Student guide and the introductory volume material (in the left menus).


There are four main areas that can be used to search for books within the database. To see the different sections of the search page, click on the blue section header. Searches are based on the concept of starting with all books in the the volume(s) and narrowing the number of books that match by entering text that must be matched. Partial searches are permitted.

The system sends the contents of all the search fields to the database after any significant pause in typing. The number of books that meet the search criteria is displayed in the small box in the upper right corner of the search page. Once you are satisfied with the number of selections matching your search, you can press the "Display Results" button at the bottom of the page.

Author, Title, Text, Notes: These fields are textual and case insensitive. In other words, typing "Scottish" or "scottish" in the 'Title' box will produce the same results. Text searches will find any matches that occur anywhere within a field. For example, typing "Farmer" in the Title field, results in 9 matching books; Adding an "s" to get "Farmers" results in 1 matched book, whereas adding "'s" to get "Farmer's" matches 5 books.

Date, Size, Price: These fields are specified with minimum and maximum sliders. The values of the sliders are displayed below the bars. To change the minimum or maximum values for a field, (e.g. Date), use the mouse to grab the small square box to the left and right sides of any of the four bars. The figure below shows the result of narrowing the price ranges to eight shillings, 2 pence as the minimum and twenty-one shillings, five pence as the highest price. There were five books that met this criteria.

Note: many books do not have size or price data. Once you move one of these sliders, you activate the filtering of books by that field, in which case your search is restricted to only those books that have any information in these fields. In order to return to full database it is necessary to reset the sliders to the extreme left and right positions.

Publisher, Location, Printer, Seller, Citation: These are additional text fields. The figure below shows the results of searching for publishers in London.

Illustration, Pagination, Collation: These fields that can be searched by entering text or checking the box for illustrations.

Display Results: Click this button when you have your search sufficiently narrowed. Each of the book titles will be displayed and you can then click the links to see all available information about each book matching your search criteria.