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The Heidelberg Historical Society Museum is now open on Sundays from 2 pm to 5 pm

Coronavirus restrictions

Most restrictions have been lifted by the Victorian Government, so you are welcome to visit our Museum on Sunday afternoons.

As per Government regulation, you will be required to leave your name and phone number by using the QR code at the Museum, or filling in a registration form.

Society membership

If you are not a member you can join by submitting the online application form which will be processed by our Secretary promptly.

12th April 2021

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Heidelberg Historical Society main page

Advanced searching

Boolean searches

To narrow down searches you can enter “boolean” conditions, for example to find photos of schools in Cape street:

cape street school

If you enter multiple words like that, then they all have to be present to get a match.

You can also omit words, by putting a minus sign in front of them. For example to get cape street schools, but not with the word “church” in the description:

cape street school -church

If you want to search for a phrase (eg. “Ford Street”) then you need to put it inside quotes. eg.

"ford street"

That would only match “ford street” and not “the ford at the end of the street”.

To match “the ford at the end of the street” you would need to search for:

ford street

Another example, where you need to find “yarra yarra” together:

"yarra yarra"

Searching tags

To search the tags assigned to photos, maps, etc. put a hash (#) in front of the search words, like this:


This would give a result such as:

Search tags.

Various photos have been “tagged” with flood-related tags. For example, to see the 1934 Yarra River Flood pictures, click the second link. You can see from the summary that you will expect to see 28 photos.

Word stemming

Searching normally assumes that you want to match the search term “onwards”. For example, “flood” would match “flood”, “floods”, “flooding”, “flooded” and so on. For this reason is it better to enter a short word rather than a long one. For example, searching for “flooded” might miss out on photos with “flooding” in them.

If you want to avoid this behaviour you have two options:

Search for an exact match by putting “!” in front of the word. For example:


That would match the word “cat” only but not cathedral or “catholic”. That could be useful if the word in question tends to give a lot of irrelevant results.

Broaden the search by putting “*” in front of the word. For example:


That would match “cabbage”, “rage”, “paged” and so on.

Search for registration number

If you know the registration number in advance (perhaps someone wrote it down and want to get the exact photo, map, news item, etc. back) you can enter it in the search box, eg.


You need to get the number exactly correct, including any leading zeroes that were in the original number.

If you are already in a specific part of the database (ie. not the Global Search) then you can omit the letter, eg.


Date range searches

Dates can be entered in various “natural” ways, including just the year, or just the month and year. Examples are:

If a non-specific date is entered in the “to date” box it is assumed to be the end of that period. For example, searching from 1920 to 1920 would actually search between 1st January 1920 to 31 December 1920.

To help confirm this, date range searches show (near the start of the page) the exact dates being searched between, like this:

Date range: from 1 January 1920 to 31 December 1920

Tip: Since there is usually an amount of uncertainty about dates of photos, maps, etc. you are advised to use a wide range rather than a narrow one. For example, 1920 to 1930, rather than 1925.

Undated records

Not all data has been dated, in which case they will only appear for a search without dates specified, or without a “from” date. For example, searching for 1900 to 1910 will omit all undated records. If you want only records with a known date, put any (low) date into the “from” date (eg. 1800)

Random browsing

Most sections of the database have a “choose one at random” link, which is handy if you just want to let the system choose a photo, map, news item for you.

Viewing an individual item

Once you have completed a search you will usually see a list of matching items, along with thumbnail images (where applicable). Click on the image or the Registration Number (eg. P4637) to view the detailed information about this item.

List of matching items.
List of matching items.

The detailed information includes the full-size images (scaled to fit onto the browser page) plus information about the photo, map, etc.

Suggested tag matches

In the example above you can also see that 5 “tags” matched the word “flood” and you can click on the link (the word “here”) to see what they were. In this case:

Search tags.
Search tags.

Options on the main record page

With a photo, map, or property image being shown you can click on the image itself to have it open in its own page in the web browser. From there it can be printed without any extra clutter. Other options are:

Options on main record page.

  1. Explore the tags. For example in this case you could click on “Yarra River Flood” to find other photos tagged with that tag.

  2. See the list again that matched the search (click the “All” link).

  3. See the next item in the matching search list (click the “Next” link). You will note in this case that there were 157 matches, and we are viewing the first of them.

You can also click on “Show printable version” which displays the same information without all the buttons, links, boxes, etc. which is useful for printing out a copy for a visitor.

Under that is the HHS logo which you can click on to return to the home page.

Return to main menu.
Return to main menu.

Updated on: 5th April 2014

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