MUNDUS HELP

This Help page provides guidance for the various facilities available via the Search page. For more general information on how the Mundus Gateway was compiled, please refer to the About page.

1. Browse

2. Freetext search

3. Subject/Name/Place search

4. Mundus map search



1. Browse

  1. Click on Browse and you will see a list of institutions which have contributed descriptions of their collections to Mundus.
  2. Click on the name of an institution to see a list of collections. The list appears underneath the "Site Details" button (see point 5 below). The list is arranged alphabetically by the titles of collections, with the exceptions of subcollections which appear underneath their main collections, indicated by indentations within the list.
  3. Click on the name of the collection in which you are interested and you will be taken to a description of the collection. Each Mundus description contains up to 27 fields: name of collection, dates, scope and content of the collection, system of arrangement etc. The descriptions are constructed to a standard known as ISAD(G), which is the agreed international standard for archival description.
  4. To see further descriptions use the Back button of your web browser.
  5. To view details of the institution itself, its location, address, access arrangements etc., click on the "Site Details" button or on the name of the holding institution which you will find at the top of each description.
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2. Freetext search

Freetext searching enables you to search through all the fields contained in all collection descriptions. Each Mundus description contains up to 27 fields: name of collection, dates, scope and content of the collection, system of arrangement etc. The descriptions are constructed to a standard known as ISAD(G), which is the agreed international standard for archival description.

  • Search using parts of words, complete words or strings of words. The freetext search facility will look for an exact match rather than executing a natural language search.
  • Type in capitals or lower case; the system is not case sensitive.
  • Use precise punctuation and diacritics. For example, if searching for the Nurses' Missionary League or Gützlaff, Nurses and Gutzlaff will be unsuccessful.
  • You can limit your search to holdings within a named institution by using the drop down list of institutions.


  1. Enter your word or phrase and click on SEARCH.
  2. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given in the column on the right.
    If your search fails:
    • Check that your spelling is correct, Mundus Freetext search will not correct errors!
    • Check punctuation and use of diacritics as described above.
    • Try using the Subject, Name or Place indexes as alternatives.
    • Reduce the length of your search string.
  3. Click on the collection that you wish to see.
  4. The term you are searching for is highlighted in the collection description.
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3. Subject, name and places indexes

These consist of browsable alphabetically arranged indexes of subjects, personal names, organization names and place names. They include, particularly in the case of place names, both contemporary and current versions, both of which will produce the same search results.

Subject index

Many of the index terms are drawn from the UNESCO Thesaurus which has been developed by the Mundus team for use with missionary collections. For further information see About Mundus.

  1. Browse the alphabetical list of subject index terms.
  2. Click on a subject term that you are interested in.
  3. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given in the column on the right.
  4. Click on the collection description that you wish to see.

Personal name index

The Personal Name index has been compiled in accordance with the Rules of the National Council on Archives, and consists of the names of individuals.

  1. Browse the alphabetical list of personal name index terms.
  2. Click on the name of the person that you are interested in.
  3. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given on the right.
  4. Click on the name of the collection description that you wish to see.

Organization name index

The Organization Name index has been compiled in accordance with the Rules of the National Council on Archives, and consists of the names of missionary societies, churches and other official bodies.

  1. Browse the alphabetical list of organization index terms.
  2. Click on the name of the organization that you are interested in.
  3. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given in the column on the right.
  4. Click on the name of the collection description that you wish to see.

Place name index

The place name index has been compiled in accordance with the Rules of the National Council on Archives, and by consulting the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names and the Times atlas of the world. It includes precise terms such as mission stations and towns, plus broader terms such as counties and states, countries, regions and continents.

  1. Browse the alphabetical list of place name index terms.
  2. Click on the name of the place that you are interested in.
  3. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given in the column on the right.
  4. Click on the name of the collection description that you wish to see.

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4. Mundus map search

Use the Mundus map search facility for searching by continent or region. For more precise geographic searching, use the Place Name index, as described above.

  1. Click on Maps and you will be taken to a map of the world.
  2. Click on a continent, eg Africa.
  3. If you want to see collections relating to the whole of a continent, such as Africa, scroll down to the link below the continental map.
  4. Alternatively, within the continent click on a region, eg Southern or West Africa, and you will be taken to a list of relevant collections.
  5. For a list of countries in each region scroll down to the text below each continental map. These divisions are based on the definitions given in the UNESCO Thesaurus.
  6. The Search Results show a list of the holding institutions in alphabetical order with the names of the relevant collections on the left. Short abstracts of each collection are given in the column on the right.
  7. Click on the name of the collection description that you wish to see.
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