Warwickshire County Record Office

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                Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked Online Tutorial
**Please be aware that not all of our collections are available on Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked. If you cannot
                    find something you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact us!**

                                To start, please click on Search the Catalogue
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                                 Introduction to Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked

Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked checks every catalogue entry to see if it contains the words that have been specified in
  the Search the Catalogue screen. The screen below shows the available fields into which search terms can be
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                                                 Viewing the Tree

Archive collections are grouped together using a reference number, which we refer to as the FondsNo. This is not the
 number assigned to the document but an artificial number that groups the records together. It is possible to view the
                   entire collection by opening the tree. This displays the structure of the collection.
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                                       Points to be aware of when searching

                When we catalogue we do so in a hierarchy. This is demonstrated in the screen below.
We do not repeat information contained within the level above. This means the name of the place is not recorded in the
                                          actual marriage register item level record.
The best way to search for any Church of England record, for example, is to enter the name of the parish into the title
          field. This will find the collection level record, then you can open the tree to browse the collection.
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              Case Study: Searching for Parish Records
The following example demonstrates a relatively simple search for parish records.

                 Search for ‘Parish of Knowle’ in the title field.
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Click on View next to the Collection level entry.
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To view the contents of the entire collection, click on the tree at the bottom of the screen, which is labelled FondsNo.
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The tree displayed below shows the structure of the collection. The tree uses two different icons: a folder which shows
  there are further branches below the one shown; and a piece of paper which shows that this is the last item in the
 branch. To view the contents click on the folder icon next to any of the headings displayed, e.g. Incumbent (records
             created by the rector, parson, vicar or minister of a parish) which includes parish registers.
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Then click on the folder icon next to Registers.
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 Next, find the specific sort of register in which you are interested. If you are searching for a marriage record, for
example, please click on the folder icon next to Marriage registers. Please note that Composite registers contain
                                      entries for Baptisms, Burials and Marriages.
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Below you will see the item level descriptions for marriage registers from Knowle. If you wish to see further details,
                           please click on the arrow icon next to each individual record.
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  Below you will see the full Record Description for a Marriage Register from the Parish of Knowle. This includes such
information as the Document Reference Number which is vital for ordering all documents at the Record Office. In this
 case, however, you will see that the register is available on microfilm. Microfilms are available to use on a self service
                                                  basis in the search room.

 Please note that the DocRefNo for the main CR and DR series must contain four digits after the prefix. When typing a
  DocRefNo into Warlock it is therefore necessary to add zeros after the prefix to the beginning of lower numbers, as
                                                     seen below.
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                                                  More Searching

If you wish to alter your search, either to widen or narrow it or to exclude certain terms, please click on the search
                                           again tab in the menu on the left.
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The search the catalogue screen now contains three extra buttons. These are widen, narrow and exclude. If you
enter a search term and click one of these buttons, your new search will be performed using the hit list you created
from your first search, not the whole database. So, if you wanted to widen your search to include records relating to
Dorridge (a neighbouring parish to Knowle) as well as Knowle, enter ‘Parish of Dorridge’ as your search term and
                                                     click widen.
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The search results screen will then include results for Dorridge in addition to those for Knowle.
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Finally, if you wish to start a new search you must close your browser window completely by clicking on the cross in the
top right hand corner of your screen. Then you can open up a new window and re-enter the Warwickshire’s Past
Unlocked website via the County Record Office home page as shown on the first slide of this tutorial.
                                      Warwickshire County Council

•   Hopefully, this tutorial will have provided you with some guidance as to how documents are
    catalogued and how you can access this information.
•   The techniques demonstrated within this tutorial can be applied to searching for other records
    within our collections.

•   These include…

School records
Hospital records
Coroners records
Photograph and print image collections
Family, Estate and Solicitors’ collections

•   You will find that detailed catalogue entries for certain types of records cannot yet be accessed,
    however there are collection level descriptions available in most cases. At present 25% of our
    holdings are available on Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked, which translates to just over 95,000

•   If you are looking for something that is not on Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked, all is not lost! You
    are more than welcome to contact or visit the Record Office in order to use the services of our
    staff and hard-copy catalogues. For details of our opening hours and contact information, please
    follow this link to our website:

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