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Text versions of Help videos - Advanced functions

If you are unable to view our online training videos, to help you use Explore the British Library, you may find these text versions useful. Alternatively, try our Adobe PDF files.

Some of the information is intended just for British Library Reader Pass holders (or registered document supply customers).

Comments are welcome and will be used to improve the help supplied.

Advanced search

- Click on Advanced search.

- The Advanced search screen appears.

- Select a search index, e.g., Author, from the drop-down menu.

- Select the Author index.

- Enter the required search term(s) in the corresponding text box.

- E.g., charles dickens.

- Select another search index, e.g., Main Title, from the second row's drop-down menu.

- Select, e.g., the exact phrase option to focus your search.

- Select the is (exact) option.

- Enter the required search term(s) in the corresponding text box.

- E.g., bleak house.

- Select, e.g., the Material type from the drop-down menu.

- Select, e.g., Books.

- Click on Search.

- The results list is displayed (sorted by relevance).

Managing your results

- If you have carried out a broad search then you will probably have a large number of items in your results list.

- Your results will be displayed in order of relevance. Using the Sort by function you can list your results according to author, title or date.

- Click on the Sort by drop-down menu.

- Select a sort option, e.g., the date-newest.

- Click on Details to view an item's full catalogue record.

- Click on the Send to drop-down menu to save catalogue records in My workspace, or E-mail, Print, or forward them to a reference management system.

- Select, e.g., the Add to My workspace option.

- The star of an item added to My workspace changes colour.

- It is also possible to add an item to My workspace by clicking on the star icon.

- Click on Add results page to My workspace to add all records on the page.

- The stars of items added to My workspace change colour.

- For more Send to options click on Details.

- Select, e.g., the E-mail option.

- Amend the details in the Send By e-mail window as necessary, making sure that your correct email address is entered in the To: box.

- Click on Send.

- Click on the Details link of a further item to view its full catalogue record.

- Select, e.g., the Print option.

- If you are in British Library Reading Room: click on the Print icon of the Public Web Browser.

- Please remember that you need a valid British Library Print, Copy & Scan account with the appropriate level of credit to print material in our reading rooms.

- If you are not in a British Library Reading Room: use your browser's Print function in the usual way.

- Click on Close to continue your research.

Research Datasets

- To access Explore the British Library, go to

- It is not necessary to Log in in order to use Explore the British Library. Logging in, however, provides additional services.

- Click the mouse in the search box.

- Enter a word or phrase in the search box, e.g. water temperature.

- Click on Search to carry out the search.

- The results list displays all items in Explore the British Library that contain the term ‘water temperature’.

- Research Datasets are identified by a bar chart icon.

- To restrict results to Research Datasets only, click on the Research Datasets link under Material Type in the left-hand column.

- There are 24 results within Research Datasets that contain the words water and temperature.

- Click on Details under an item that is of interest to view the full catalogue record.

- The full record displays more information including the following:
Rights: your access rights to the data;
Description: a description that includes information on how to access the data;
Plus any further details on what the data covers.

- Click on I want this to view the dataset’s access details.

- Click on Go to connect to the External Research Dataset.

- Datasets are held on external websites and not by the British Library.
We check links regularly, but if you find a broken link, please let us know by emailing