How to use the database

The Collections database has several search options.

Basic search

  • The basic search allows you to conduct a keyword-type search across all of the records in the Collections database.
  • For a basic keyword search, enter your search term into the main search field and click the “Go” button or hit enter to execute the search. Examples of a keyword might include the object name, date, material or maker.
  • To narrow your basic search to either the cultural or archaeological collections, click on the green down arrow and select “Cultural” or “Archaeological.”
  • Capital letters and punctuation are not necessary. For personal names, "last name first" order is not necessary.
  • Use the wildcard symbol (*) to truncate a word in your search.

Advanced search 

  • The advanced search allows you to narrow results by searching on a combination of fields at once.
  • To narrow your advanced search to either the cultural or archaeological collections, click on the green down arrow.
  • Click on the blue down arrow to expand to the advanced search options. A form with fields specific to the selected collection will appear.

By default, entering text in multiple fields yields results using the AND Boolean operator. Each field has a drop-down menu to the left where the Boolean operator (AND, OR, NOT) may be selected. A Boolean search combines terms with the operators AND, OR or NOT:

  • AND searches return all terms in the results.
  • OR searches return either or any of the search terms in the results.
  • NOT excludes records that contain the term(s) entered in this field.
  • To browse a list of available terms for each field, click “Browse” next to the field.

Browsing search results

After you have conducted a search, there are several ways to browse your results:

  • Click the filter icon and check the boxes of the filters you want to apply and uncheck the boxes to clear the filters
  • Sort by title or date
  • Grid view
  • List view

Bookmarking search results

The bookmarking feature can be used to save a list of records across multiple searches.

To add a record to your bookmarks, click “Bookmark” beside the object summary in the search results, or on the Object details page.

To view your bookmarked records, click "Go to bookmarks" at the top of the Search results page, or on the Object details, click on "View bookmarked records." This will take you to the Bookmarks page.

To download your bookmarks, click the download icon. This will take you to a new page where you can download an HTM file that can be opened in any web browser.

Research and reproductions

The Trust welcomes the use of its collections for research and educational purposes.

To inquire about reproducing an image from the Collections database for publication, or for general research inquiries, please contact

The following credit line may be used to reference objects from the Trust’s collections:

Courtesy of the Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Additional questions?