Searching the Memory of the Netherlands

You can search the Memory of the Netherlands by entering one or more words in the search box and clicking the red search button. Now a list of images is presented to you in whose descriptions your search words were found.

The order of the results

The results of your search are by default presented in order of relevance. The relevance of an image becomes higher when the search words are present in the title of the image or the name of its creator.

You have several options to change the order of the list according to your wishes:

The different options are:

  • By relevance (default)
  • By alphabetical order of Title
  • By alphabetical order of Creator
  • By alphabetical order of Collection
  • On chronological order as far as the date of creation is known

Smart search

If you do not find immediately what you are looking for, the methods described below may help you further.

Refine

On the left side of the screen you find a number of options to further refine your search question. They can make your search more precise.

Search in:

  • Title: Only the titles of images are searched for your search word(s).
  • Name of Person: Only the descriptions of persons featuring in images are searched for your search word(s).
  • Name of creator: Only the names of creators of images (painters, photographers, designers, writers, printers, etc.) are searched for your search word(s).
  • Geographic location: Only the descriptions of geographical locations featuring in images (f.e. ‘Amsterdam’) are searched for your search word(s).
  • Place of creation: Only the descriptions of  places were the images were produced are searched for your search word(s).

Filter

On the left side of the screen you find a number of filter options to narrow down the amount of search results.

  • Filter for theme: All images on The Memory of the Netherlands are divided among themes. This might enable you to find images on specific topics more easily.
  • Filter for type of object: All images on Memory of the Netherlands are specified for type of object. You can for example only search for paintings, or only search for photographs.
  • Filter for collection: All images on Memory of the Netherlands belong to a collection provided by a museum, archive, library or other heritage institution. You can limit your search to one or several collections.
  • Filter on institution: Using this filter you can search for images one specific museum, archive, library or other heritage institution.

Using boolean operators

By using the boolean operators AND, OR, NOT and PROX in combination with quotation marks you can further precise your search. 

  • Double quotation marks
    Apply double quotation marks if you are looking for a fixed combination of words, for example “Vincent van Gogh”. By doing this you won’t find Anna van Gogh
  • AND
    Both search words you enter have to be present in the description of the image, for example Van Gogh AND Gauguin. The Memory of the Netherlands applies this option by default if you enter more than one word in the search box.
  • OR
    At least one of both search words has to be present in the description of the image. You can use this option for example if more than one version of a search word are possible, for example Huijgens OR Huygens.
  • NOT
    The first word after NOT may not be present in the description of the image. For example Huygens NOT Christiaan.
  • PROX
    Search for two words in each others proximity. The maximum distance is 10 words, for example Rembrandt PROX Amsterdam

Using wildcards: * and ?

In your search words you can replace letters or numbers by * or ? to look for more variants of the word. You can’t use these wildcards at the first position of a word. The wildcards are especially useful if you are looking for different conjugations of a word, or if there are (historical) varieties in spelling. 

  • *
    The asterisk can replace one or more tokens. If you use for example Nederland* as a search word you will get results with Nederlands, Nederlander, Nederlandsch, etc.
  • ?
    The question mark replaces a single token. If you use for example va?kantie as a search word, your result will include both vakantie and vacantie.

And finally you can also prioritize between different elements of your search question. If you place part of a Boolean search string between brackets, this part is dealt with first, for example (Van Gogh OR Gauguin) AND Arles. The Memory of the Netherlands will search first for images in which Van Gogh or Gauguin are present in de description. From this selection it will choose only those in which also Arles is mentioned.