Enter search term(s) from author, publisher, title/subtitle, year, format, description, etc. Case insensitive, partial entry is fine, e.g. eco for Ecology or Economics.
Using search is easy. You can simply enter a word or part of a word in the search box and press 'Catalogue search'.
Check the box underneath first if you wish to limit the search to the Digital Library. This lists the material we have scanned in.
We have also added another check box so you can include languages or place (town, region or country) of publication.
The result will be a list of articles that match the term. Results are ordered by title and are shown in a new window or tab. If you don't enter any term you will get the whole archive listing. Items with no title (e.g. letters), will appear at the end of the list ordered by item ID. We don't order by author because so many items do not have one, but you can include author in the advanced search to narrow down the results.
Important note: our search is not forgiving of spelling mistakes and text entered must match at least part of a word in our records, although it's not case sensitive. However we have added a lot of keywords to help you find material by theme even if the title does not include any. Use partial words to get a more complete result e.g. femin to get records with both feminism & feminist. Entering multiple words in the same box will only return a result if the phrase matches our records precisely. For authors it is best to enter the surname only to begin with (since author Kropotkin, Peter is not the same as Peter Kropotkin in a title). If you wish to enter two words it's best to use the Advanced Search instead, and put one word in each search box.
We also present a two-term search. Add the first term as above, after selecting Digital Library only, if desired.
Then choose AND or OR (AND is the default). Enter a second term with AND, then press 'Catalogue search' to get results which match both terms in the same record.
Choose OR and press 'Catalogue search' to get results from the first term as well as any items that match the second term, or either term.
To search the full text of any digitised records featuring OCR, but which have not yet been added to the Internet Archive (which features options to search Metadata or Text Contents), we recommend running a Google Site Search. Depending on your browser (etc.) there are a few ways to do this, e.g. by going to the Google website and entering: site:https://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/ SEARCH TERM (e.g.: site:https://thesparrowsnest.org.uk/ "poll tax").
Keep in mind that OCR is an imperfect tool and computers still struggle to read e.g. the handwriting of a young punk who scribbled a zine back in the early 1980s.
1) Look for documents on Ecology. Simply enter Ecolog (or ecolog as the search is not case sensitive). Then press 'Catalogue search'.
Try again with the first box checked to see Digital Library items only and click on any link to save or view that item.
Find materials catalogued with the terms Ecology/Ecological or Green by entering first term Ecolog and second term Green, using OR.
Keep in mind that language keeps evolving, so for a thorough search also run assorted other terms, such as enviro for environment or environmentalism.
2) Look for articles about Kropotkin.
Enter Kropotkin (or just Krop) as the first term.
Enter Kropotkin as the first term along with Peter as the second, using AND. This narrows the search mostly to articles written by Peter Kropotkin, or if the full name appears anywhere else in the record.
3) Look for articles about the Mining Industry published in any year in the 1980s or referring to the 1980s.
Enter Mine for the first term and 198 for the second.
4) Look for articles about Feminism (or Feminist issues) and expand to search articles with Wom*n.
Enter terms Femin and Wom using OR.
5) Look for materials published in Wales. Check the second box and then type in Wales. This will include all records with London in the publishers details. Omit this if you only want articles about London.
6) Look for articles in French. Check the second box and enter the word French as one term, and put content you are looking for as the other, using AND (or leave the second box blank to find any items in French).
If you are stuggling to find what you are looking for, please do not hesitate to get in touch.