Searching the Archives Online database
There are three options for searching the database: Simple Search, Advanced Search, and Browse the Collection. These three types of searching are covered below along with a brief explanation and example for each type of searching.
Simple Search - Use Search Keywords to find records where the term(s) that you are searching may be found in any of the fields within the database. You may enter any number of keywords.
Advanced Search - Use Advanced Search to make more refined searches on the database.
Title… Enter the title of a group of records or a record. Examples: Minutes, by-laws, drawings
Scope… Enter any descriptive words that pertain to the scope or content of a group of records or a record. Examples: Contracts, correspondence, roads, plans
Records Creators… Enter the name of the records creator. Examples: Chair, Township of Woolwich, Treasurer
Formats… Enter the format of the records. This allows you to limit your search to a particular format. Examples: Photographs, textual records, architectural, cartographic, moving images
All of these keywords… Use this option to get hits that contain all of the search terms that you have chosen. Example: entering the keywords “water” and “minutes” will return descriptions that include both of these words.
Any of these keywords… Use this option to get hits that contain any, but not necessarily all, of your search terms. Example: entering the keywords “water” and “minutes” will return descriptions that include either or both of these words.
Exact Phrase… Use this option to get hits that contain your search terms in the order you have entered them. Example: entering the keywords “water quality” will return descriptions including that exact phrase.
Browse the Collections - Use Browse the Collections to search the database by browsing an alphabetical list of the people, organizations and government offices that have created archival records. The people, organizations and government offices are sorted alphabetically.
General Search Tips
Common words will be ignored. These include: the, a, an, in, of, and, these.
Interpreting the Results
The first page illustrating your search results will list the number of records creators and records series or records that relate to you search terms. A successful search may result in two options: the option to click on records series and records, and the option to click on records creators. Click on the number and title for a detailed description of the records creators or groups of records.
The second page of results will list the titles and dates of records and records series or records creators that your search terms generated. Click on a title to view the detailed record.
The detailed result of records creators will include an administrative or biographical history of the records creator, dates of existence, predecessor agencies, successor agencies, controlling agencies, and function.
The detailed result of records and records series will include titles, dates, formats, scope and content, creator, and access restrictions of the records.
Accessing the records
Once you have identified material that interests you, it can be consulted in our research room at 150 Frederick Street in Kitchener. Please be aware that some records are subject to restrictions because of legislation or at the request of a donor. The database indicates when restrictions apply. It is best to send an enquiry [can we make this a hyperlink to our contact information?] in advance of a visit to the archives. Staff can then advise you whether there may be records at the Archives relating to your enquiry.
The main holdings of the Region of Waterloo Archives include:
- Regional Municipality of Waterloo government records
- County of Waterloo government records
- Township of Woolwich government records
- Town of Elmira government records
- Township of Waterloo government records
How information is organized
Archival records are organized by the person, organization or government office that created or accumulated them. Archival records are not organized and identified by subject, but by the creator of the records. Knowing a bit more about how archival records are organized may help you to search the database more effectively. Records created by a government body, organization or person are kept together and not mixed with records from other creators.
The database allows for users to submit comments on the content of the database. For example, if you have additional information to add or notice any inaccuracies in the information, please submit a comment. All comments will be reviewed and monitored by the Archivists.
Genealogical and Family History
The database will not answer most genealogical research enquiries. However, relevant information about your research may be obtained by searching the database. Depending on your question, you may want to contact the Archivists.
We’re here to help!
Please contact the Archivists if you have any questions or require assistance using Archives Online.