Search the collections catalogue

Museums Victoria Collections is our online catalogue and contains a sample of the millions of items held by Museums Victoria. Information about our museums, including an overview and history of our collections is also on Museums Victoria Collections.

The following instructions explain the basics of searching. There are also instructions on how to apply complex search commands to increase the relevancy of your results.

If you need assistance, please get in touch with us via Ask Us.

Getting started

You can search our catalogue by using a single word or a phrase. Additional search terms can be applied to the results by using the “ADD” button.

A search can also be built by using Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT.

Search terms

Entering a single search term into MV collections, for example: blue, will search for the word blue across all fields.

A phrase can be searched for by using double quotes, for example: “blue bottle”. The names of people, organisations and multi-word places are best searched for using double quotes, for example: “Royal Exhibition Building”, “Vida Goldstein” and “Ascot Vale”.

Boolean searches

Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, can be used to build complex searches.

OR is the default. A search without other Boolean operators (AND, NOT) or double quotations will return results for an OR search. For example, blue bottle will show results for blue OR bottle

Examples of Boolean searches include:

Blue AND bird

Tractor NOT model

Gold OR silver

Date range search

To search for items within a date range use the command: date:[---- to ----]. For example:

date:[1900 to 1920]

date:[1820 to 1856]

A date range searches across all fields. Because of this, results could include items outside of the date range that were associated with relevant collection item. For example, a search for date:[1910-1920] includes doll house furniture from the 1950s that was used in a doll house that was originally built in 1920.

Fuzzy, Wildcards and question marks

fuzzy search ~
A fuzzy search on for Yarra~ could return research results for the Yarra river, the town Yarram, the SS Kyarra, and scientific specimens collected at Warra Well, SA.

Wildcards * and ?

A wildcard search using an asterisk (*) replaces multiple characters of a word. For example, a search for E*wood will return results for similar words such as Eastwood, Elwood, and Ellwood.

A wildcard search using a question mark (?) replaces a single character in a word. For example, a search for S*lomon will return results for the names Solomon and Salomon.

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