Advanced Search Help

Advanced search allows you to use AND or OR to combine searches.

Use the LH drop-down list to select a field you wish to search and enter the search term in the RH; when you search some of the fields you will be offered a drop-down list of search terms in the RH box from which you should select one.

Use the ADD button to open a new search row (or DELETE to remove a row), and select ADD or OR from the LH box.

To begin the search click the Search button or hit press Return on you keyboard.

Once you have produced your search listing, you can then refine it further on the Search Results page using the Narrow Your Search facility, which displays the hits achieved in the five listed fields by order of relevance: you can scroll down a field list and click a box to select a limiting term.  You may also sort the results using the Refine Your Search buttons.

The searchable fields are:

Personal or organisation names – free-text search
Place or venue – free-text search
Date range – drop-down list
Collection name – free-text search
Collection description – free-text search
Holding institution – drop-down list
Subject – drop-down list
Provenance – free text search
Format – free text search
Identifier – free-text search


Information provided here includes the names of individual and corporate bodies associated with the collection. The former might include prominent performers or conductors or the name of the original collector whilst the latter incorporates the names of concert series, performing ensembles and musical agents.

Unless a concert or collection is devoted to a single work, the work of a single composer or includes a notable ‘first performance’ (see Subjects below), the names of individual composers will not normally appear here.

Places and venues

Spatial terms (names of places and venues) have been constructed hierarchically, allowing users either to search the database for a specific concert venue or to browse by town, city or country.

Countries have been defined by their present-day boundaries, meaning, for example, that the constituent parts of the former USSR will appear individually under the heading Europe. Locations in the United Kingdom have been grouped under the headings England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, whilst London is divided into the City of London and the 32 surrounding boroughs.

The construction of individual terms is such as to place the name or type of venue before its geographic location, meaning that the Town Hall in Leeds appears as ‘Town Hall, Leeds’ rather than as ‘Leeds Town Hall’. Churches are filed under the distinct part of the name, resulting in ‘St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Hove’ rather than ‘Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Hove’ and ‘Ely Cathedral’ rather than ‘Cathedral, Ely’.

Date Range

Individual dates are not searchable in this field: if you select it you will be offered a drop-down list of periods. (See however the Collection Name field below.)

Programme collections spanning more than one time frame will appear under all relevant headings.

For the purposes of this project, the labels World War I and World War II have been used less as historical markers than as an opportunity to highlight collections with particular relevance or connection to these events. Examples of such collections include the programmes relating to the Ruhleben Concentration Camp (1914–18) and the National Gallery Concerts (1939–46), held at British Library shelf marks and Cup.404.c.1/1-11 respectively.

Collection name

The format and content of entries in this field are not standardised, but, for example, may refer to a previous owner, a venue, a performing organisation and dates (so searches on individual dates are possible in this field).

Collection description

The collection descriptions vary greatly in their extent and content, but the most substantial may include a wealth of information about the documents, the events for which they are witnesses, and may include some information about individual events (though normally not details of the items performed).

Holding Institution

The name of the repository housing the collection, in the form of the name used by the institution.


You will be offered a drop-down list of search terms covering different types of concert, different types of document, and different types of information contained in programmes. This information was not recorded in all records.


Information about previous owners, donors and other aspects of a collection’s history. This is information may a be given in the collection description instead.


Rarely used in records.


If you know the shelf-mark, press number,catalogue number or other unique identifier for a collection you seek, you may search for it here.

Keyword Search Map Search Browse