Begin by typing a word or two in the search box; you can refine your search later.

This will search all the descriptions of items on the site, including the full text where it is available. You will get the maximum number of results, and will then have an opportunity to refine your search using filters.

You can bookmark the results page to save your search results.

Fuzzy Search

If you do not get enough results from your search, try using fuzzy search by putting a tilde (~) after your term. Fuzzy searching will find a word even if it is misspelled.

  • use ~ after a word to mean "similar to", eg wanganui~
  • use ~ after a phrase to find words within a certain distance of each other, eg "robert parris"~10

Advanced Search Tips

Boolean search operators

Use AND, OR, NOT to refine your searches.

  • Use AND to get results that include all your search terms, e.g. Donald AND McLean will retrieve only results that contain both these words
  • Use OR to get results that include at least one of your search terms; e.g. Auckland OR Tamaki
  • Use NOT to exclude unwanted search terms e.g. Wanganui NOT river will retrieve results that include "Wanganui" but not "river".
  • Use parentheses ( ) to group search terms e.g. (Fox OR Vogel) AND government


Wildcards can be used in your search terms to mean "any character here":

  • use ? as a single-character wildcard, anywhere in a word except as the first character, eg year:184?
  • use * as a zero-or-more-characters wildcard, anywhere in a word except the first character, eg year:184*


Use [begin TO end] to specify a range,

Advanced Field Search

Use field:value where field is one of the below and value is:


  • attribution
  • author
  • collection
  • corpname
  • date
  • decade
  • destination
  • format
  • fulltext
  • id
  • imageid
  • iwihapu
  • keywords
  • language
  • metadata
  • name
  • origin
  • place
  • recipient
  • section
  • series
  • subarea
  • subject
  • tapuhigroupref
  • tapuhigrouptitle
  • tapuhiitemref
  • tapuhiitemtitle
  • tapuhipieceref
  • tapuhipiecetitle
  • tapuhireelref
  • teipb
  • teiref
  • year

Example using multiple advanced search techniques

To show transcribed documents related to Wairoa from 1860 to 1864, excluding any maps:
collection:"McLean Papers" AND NOT series:"Series 13 Maps" AND format:"Full Text" AND place:Wairoa AND year:[1860 TO 1864]

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