Frequently asked questions

I have found an entry on the online catalogue and now I want to visit the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections to see the item. What is the procedure?
For visitor information and identification requirements, please see our web site.

I have found a record which I would like to research but cannot visit in person. May I order a copy?
Provided that the material is suitable for copying, you can order copies through our reprographics service.

I have found an entry on the online catalogue that says the item is held at the 'Shakespeare Institute Library, Stratford-Upon-Avon'. What is the procedure for viewing this material?
For visitor information, please see the Shakespeare's Institute Library website.

Why can’t I find what I'm looking for?
If you want to search for an exact phrase (so the words appear adjacent to each other in the text), e.g. John Smith, enter the text with double quotation marks, thus "John Smith".

Searching the database will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so if you haven't found what you wanted it's often best to try other related terms.

People's names and place names may also vary in spelling and so you may need to try searching for alternative spellings in order to find all relevant records. When making a personal name search, you are advised to search only on surname.

You can also search for part of a word followed, or preceded, by a 'wildcard' asterisk to broaden your search: e.g. Indi* will retrieve records which include the words India, Indian, Indies.

Although new catalogues are added on a regular basis to this archive catalogue, some of our collections are not yet available online. If you require further assistace, please contact us by email at

Why can’t I see images of the documents in the catalogue?
The catalogues contain written descriptions of the documents in our archive and not digitised images from the collection (except in a few instances).

How do I sort the records in the 'search results' hitlist?
By default, records are presented in Finding Number order but you can sort the list of results according to the field of your choice by clicking on the column heading.

How can I find out more information about an entry displayed in the 'search results' hitlist?
To view a full record description, click on the Finding Number for the entry you require. If you then want to browse the record in its hierarchical context (i.e. how it relates to other records in the collection), click on Finding Number again. Use the back button on your browser to return to the search results overview.

Commitment to making our service inclusive:
We are committed to making our service inclusive, and respectful to all. We are aware that there is much work to do to make sure that our catalogues and other research tools reflect this commitment. We are working to improve our knowledge and understanding so that we can revise the language used in our catalogues and other finding aids that are already in use, and write for the future in a way that is relevant, helpful, does not make anyone feel excluded or unwelcome, or use prejudicial language. If you have any suggestions or comments, please email Jenny Childs, Archivist and Public Services Manager:


Some of our most significant collections