Penn Museum Online Collections Help

Contents

Keyword Search
Advanced Search
Viewing Records and Search Results
My Finds
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Information

For Terms of Use and general information about this site, see About Penn Museum's Online Collections.


Keyword Search

Keyword Search queries a number of fields (categories of information) in the database at the same time for each of the terms entered and returns the records where each term was found in at least one field. The more terms added in Keyword Search, the narrower the search results will be. A list of the "behind the scenes" fields used in Keyword Search is available below under Database Fields Queried by Keyword Search.

Separate each keyword by a space. Most punctuation marks will be ignored.

The below example will return records where all terms (blue, and bead, and Africa) are found somewhere in a record. Records that contain blue and bead, but not Africa, will not be included in the results since only two of the entered terms match for those records.

Example: blue bead Africa

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in double quotes. The below example would only find records that include the complete phrase, "ram in the thicket," in any of the queried fields. Phrase searching is most useful when looking for the exact title of an object.

Example: "ram in the thicket"

Additional Considerations for Keyword Searching

Searches are not case sensitive.

The following special characters and punctuation marks are ignored in searches: |, *, ^, (, ), $, ~, {, }, @, +, #, !, and , (comma). Blue+bead, blue; bead, and blue, bead are all treated the same as blue bead and retrieve the same results.

Except when using phrase search (multiple words surrounded by double quotes), the following words are ignored for search purposes: of, the, a, and, in.

Example: the ram in the thicket (without double quotes) will search only for the words ram and thicket ignoring the words, the and in. This works similarly to web searches and is intended to reduce the number of unwanted or irrelevant results.

Database Fields Queried by Keyword Search

The Keyword Search feature of Penn Museum's Online Collections site queries a number of fields in the database at the same time. Results include all object records with matching values in any of the fields described below. See Help for the Advanced Search feature for details about more strictly defined queries.


Object Number
The unique number assigned to an object by the Museum (such as 30-12-702), also known as a catalog or accession number. These numbers are used to reference objects in publications and to identify objects in the Museum database.

Other Number
Any number or identifier assigned to an object that is not the primary Object Number. These include field numbers and previous numbers (such as from a collector's catalog).

Description
The written out description of an object that ties together, and supplements, details recorded in other fields.

Object Name
One or more words that describe what an object is in fairly basic terms (such as statue, sherd, or coin). These terms often relate, in some way, to the function or use of an object.

Technique
Techniques or methods used in the manufacture of an object (e.g. woven, polished, spun).

Materials
The materials most present in the physical composition of the object (e.g. leather, wool, wood).

Place Name / Provenience
The location where the object was made or most used. These terms generally include broader locations (such as continent) as well as narrower locations (such as village) where available. For querying by broader location, the Curatorial Section field may be useful as well since the Museum Curatorial Sections are distinguished to some degree based on geographic areas.

Culture
The culture or cultures most associated with an object's manufacture or use.

Culture Area
Terms designating commonly used cultural region names such as "Greater Southwest" in North America. This field is infrequently used, but relevant in some cases. See also, the Culture and Place Name fields.

Locus
The specific location where an object was found. For Archaeological materials, this is usually the find context for an object (building, tomb, site subdivision, etc). Locus may also be used to provide collection area details for ethnographic and other objects that supplement the Place and Manufacture Location / Mint fields. For example, Locus may be used to show that an item was collected three miles northeast of a particular village.

Manufacture Location
The place(s) where an object was made or fashioned even if it was used or intended to be used elsewhere.

Iconography
Terms describing what is depicted on an object, or in the case of some statues and busts, what is depicted by an object. These terms may include the names of deities, political figures, animals, plants, etc.


Object Title
The accepted or proper title of an object such as may be associated with a work of art.

Date of Object
Specific dates or date ranges for the manufacture of an object. Note that numeric date range searches are not presently supported.

Period
Date terms associating an object with a period in cultural or political history (e.g. Ming Dynasty, Late Bronze Age, Pre-Columbian).

Maker
The name of an individual, institution, or group that created the object (e.g. Exekias, The American Game and Puzzle Company, Jose Benitez Sanchez).

Credit Line (Donor)
Text describing the source from which the Museum acquired an object, used specifically to credit collections donors.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search provides additional control over querying the Penn Museum's Online Collections database. Enter a term or multiple terms into the relevant fields to search by category of information. Most of the Advanced Search categories query multiple fields "behind the scenes" in online database. For a list of what kinds of information are searched by each Advanced Search field, see Database Fields Queried By Advanced Search below.

Each additional term entered in each separate search category narrows the search.

Example: statue in Object Name / Description and marble in Material / Technique will return only objects that have statue in one of the fields searched by Object Name / Title and marble in the Material (or Technique) field. Statues that do not have a Material of marble will not be included in the search results.

Multiple terms may be entered in any single field. Separate each term by a space to narrow the query (creating "and" relationships). Separate each term by the word OR in a field to include all records that match any, but not necessarily each, of the desired terms.


Example: bronze leather in the Material / Technique field will return only objects that have both of those terms (bronze and leather) in either the Material or Technique field.

Example (OR operator): bronze OR leather in the Material / Technique field will return any objects that have either term, or both terms, in the Material or Technique fields.

To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in double quotes. Phrase searching works in all of the Advanced Search fields except for Curatorial Section (where it is not required). An exact phrase search is assumed for Museum Object Number, so quotes are not required for queries in that field. While phrase searching can be used in a number of the search fields, it is especially useful in the Object Name / Description field (since it searches free-text fields in the database including Description and Title).

This example would only find records that include the complete phrase "ram in the thicket" in any of the relevant fields.

Example: "ram in the thicket"


Additional Considerations for Advanced Searching

Searches are not case sensitive.

The following special characters and punctuation marks are ignored in searches: |, *, ^, (, ), $, ~, {, }, @, +, #, !, and , (comma). Except when using phrase search (multiple words surrounded by double quotes), the following words are ignored for search purposes: of, the, a, and, in.

Example: Blue+bead, blue; bead, and blue, bead are all treated the same as blue bead and retrieve the same results.

Example: the ram in the thicket (without double quotes) will search only for the words ram and thicket ignoring the words, the and in. This works similarly to web searches and is intended to reduce the number of unwanted or irrelevant results.

Database Fields Queried by Advanced Search

Object Name / Description
Object Name: One or more words that describe what an object is in fairly basic terms (such as statue, sherd, or coin). These terms often relate, in some way, to the function or use of an object.

Description: The written-out description of an object that ties together, and supplements, details recorded in other fields.

Iconography: Terms describing what is depicted on an object, or in the case of some statues and busts, what is depicted by an object. These terms may include the names of deities, political figures, animals, plants, etc.

Object Title: The accepted or proper title of an object such as may be associated with a work of art.

Museum Object Number
Object Number: The unique number assigned to an object by the Museum (such as 30-12-702), also known as a catalog or accession number. These numbers are used to reference objects in publications and to identify objects in the Museum database.

Other Number: Any number or identifier assigned to an object that is not the primary Object Number. These include field numbers and previous numbers (such as from a collector's catalog).

Period
Date of Object: Specific dates or date ranges for the manufacture of an object. Note that numeric date range searches are not presently supported.

Period: Date terms associating an object with a period in cultural or political history (e.g. Ming Dynasty, Late Bronze Age, Pre-Columbian).

Place Name
Provenience / Place Name: The location where the object was made or most used. These terms generally include broader locations (such as continent) as well as narrower locations (such as village) where available. For querying by broader location, the Curatorial Section field may be useful as well since the Museum's Curatorial Sections are distinguished to some degree based on geographic areas.

Culture Area: Terms designating commonly used cultural region names such as "Greater Southwest" in North America. This field is infrequently used, but relevant in some cases. See also, the Culture and Place Name fields.

Locus: The specific location where an object was found. For Archaeological materials, this is usually the find context for an object (building, tomb, site subdivision, etc). Locus may also be used to provide collection area details for ethnographic and other objects that supplement the Place and Manufacture Location / Mint fields. For example, Locus may be used to show that an item was collected three miles northeast of a particular village.

Manufacture Location: The place(s) where an object was made or fashioned even if it was used or intended to be used elsewhere.


Culture
Culture: The culture or cultures most associated with an object's manufacture or use.

Material / Technique
Materials: The materials most present in the physical composition of the object (e.g. leather, wool, wood).

Technique: Techniques or methods used in the manufacture of an object (e.g. woven, polished, spun).

Credit Line (Donor)
Credit Line: Text describing the source from which the Museum acquired an object, used specifically to credit collections donors.

Maker
Maker: The name of an individual, institution, or group that created the object (e.g. Exekias, The American Game and Puzzle Company, Jose Benitez Sanchez).



Viewing Records and Search Results

Three view options are available when looking at search results and My Finds record lists: Grid View and List View. Use the view buttons at the upper right of the object list to change views.

View option icons:

To see the full details for an object record, go to Full Record View by clicking the "View Object" link for the desired record.

Database Fields Displayed in Full Record View

The following list of fields are displayed when viewing the details of an individual Museum object record. Some categories of information are note relevant or not available for every object. Labels only appear for fields that have data in the details view of an object record.

Object Name
One or more words that describe what an object is in fairly basic terms (such as statue, or sherd, or coin). These terms often relate in some way to the primary function of an item.

Object Title
The accepted or proper title of an object such as may be associated with a work of art.

Object Number
The unique number assigned to an object by the Museum (such as 30-12-702), also known as a catalog or accession number. These numbers are used to reference objects in publications and to identify objects in the Museum database.

Culture
The culture or cultures most associated with an object's manufacture or use.

Place Name / Provenience
The location where the object was made or most used. These terms generally include broader locations (such as continent) as well as narrower locations (such as village) where available. For querying by broader location, the Curatorial Section field may be useful as well since the Museum's Curatorial Sections are distinguished to some degree based on geographic areas.

Culture Area
Terms designating commonly used cultural region names such as "Greater Southwest" in North America. This field is infrequently used, but relevant in some cases.

Locus
The specific location where an object was found. For Archaeological materials, this is usually the find context for an object (building, tomb, site subdivision, etc). Locus may also be used to provide collection area details for ethnographic and other objects that supplement the Place and Manufacture Location / Mint fields. For example, Locus may be used to show that an item was collected three miles northeast of a particular village.

Manufacture Location
The place(s) where an object was made or fashioned even if it was used or intended to be used elsewhere.

Period
Date terms associating an object with a period in cultural or political history. (e.g. Ming Dynasty, Late Bronze Age, Pre-Columbian).

Maker
The name of an individual, institution, or group that created the object (e.g. Exekias, The American Game and Puzzle Company, Jose Benitez Sanchez).

Date Made (or Date of Object) / Early Date / Late Date
Specific dates or date ranges for the manufacture of an object. Note that numeric date range searches are not presently supported.

Curatorial Section
The Curatorial Sections at the Penn Museum responsible for the management of an object. This field is also useful as a means of searching broadly by geography / culture.

Materials
The materials most present in the physical composition of the object (e.g. leather, wool, wood).

Technique
Techniques or methods used in the manufacture of an object (e.g. woven, polished, spun).

Iconography
Terms describing what is depicted on an object, or in the case of some statues and busts, what is depicted by an object. These terms may include the names of deities, political figures, animals, plants, etc.

Description
The written-out description of an object that ties together, and supplements, details recorded in other fields.

Measurements
The basic physical dimensions (size) of an object. All measurements are in metric units.

Other Number / Other Number Type
Any number or identifier assigned to an object that is not the primary Object Number. These include field numbers and previous numbers (such as from a collector's catalog). Other Number Type describes the source or meaning of each Other Number where available.

Credit Line
Text describing the source from which the Museum acquired an object, used specifically to credit collections donors.

Exhibition History
A list of exhibitions in which the object was (or is currently) displayed. Clicking on the linked exhibition title will show all objects recorded as part of that exhibition.

Bibliography
A list of bibliographic citations related to the object. In most cases, but not all, these indicate that an object was published in the listed book or article. Some type citations are included to point researchers to relevant resources that do not explicitly mention the Museum object. Clicking on a bibliography link will retrieve all other objects that are related to that work.

You may also be interested in these objects Objects are suggested because their Culture and Object Name are similar to the selected record's Culture and Object Name. Viewing a mask from the Nuu-chah-nulth culture will suggest other mask from the Nuu-chah-nulth culture. If a culture is not provided then the objects that are suggested are related only by object name.

My Finds

Saving and Sharing Lists of Penn Museum Objects
The My Finds feature can be used to save and share lists of object records. To add records to My Finds, click the "Add to My Finds" link for each desired object. Click on the "My Finds" or "Lists" tab at the far right of the page for an overview of items added. When the list is complete, follow the steps offered there to create a My Finds link for saving and sharing.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For Terms of Use and general information about this site, see About Penn Museum's Online Collections.

Unexpected Results
You may find that some of your results do not contain the specific term that you searched for.

The Penn Museum's staff relies on a structured controlled vocabulary of terms to describe objects in our collection. This vocabulary, also known as a thesaurus, allows staff to use discipline specific terms to catalog objects (for example using the more specific term 'amphora' instead of a generic term like 'container' or 'vessel'). Since the terms in the thesaurus are organized hierarchically, from broad to specific ( eg. United States -> Pennsylvania-> Philadelphia or Container -> Vessel -> Classical Vessel -> Amphora) searches on broader terms will capture specific terms organized underneath them, for example, searching for 'vessel' will also return objects cataloged as 'amphora' and 'pitcher'.

The Online Collections site uses the Penn Museum's thesaurus to automatically search on alternate spellings as well (eg. Hercules, Heracles, Herakles).

We hope this will help users to more fully explore our the objects in our collection.

Provided below are some example searches that demonstrate the query expansion functionality:

"Greek god" Aphora
"Northwest coast"
Corinthian Vessel
Tlingit "Cutting Tool"

Object Number Searching
Searching by Object Number (also known as Object ID or Accession Number) in the Online Collections Advanced Search works slightly differently than searching in other fields. Phrase searching is assumed, meaning that any value entered in that search field will be automatically enclosed in double quotes (behind the scenes) for query purposes. This allows for only exact matches to an Object Number to be returned.

In some cases, objects that have been published in print with incomplete Object Numbers. This is most frequently the case when an object is part of a group of objects. Individual objects within a group often have a letter appended to the end of the group Object Number, but may not be published as such. If you are having difficulty retrieving an object based on a published Object Number, try adding the letters A, B, C, etc. to the end of the published number (without any delimiter or punctuation between the last number and the letter). If that does not solve the issue, please contact us for assistance.



Contact Information

Contact information for the Penn Museum's Online Collections is available on the About Penn Museum's Online Collections page. Additional contact details, including a complete staff list, can be found on Penn Museum's general Departments / Contacts page.