Tips On Searching

Search Functions

There are three different types of search that you can use on the magazines: This exact phrase, all of these words, any of these words. There are then different category and date restrictions that you can use to narrow down your search further.

This exact phrase: this search is the equivalent to putting a phrase in quotation marks on Google. It will find any instance of all of those words, in that exact order. Please be patient as this search can take quite a long time. It is best to use this search only if the ALL search isn’t producing the results you hoped for.

ALL of these words: this search will find instances when each of the words being searched for are on the same page, although not necessarily in the same order or in the same article. However, this search function excludes common words such as the, of, what, her, very. If you include these words in your search, you may get fewer results. e.g. to look for Lord Leith of Fyvie, search ‘Lord Leith Fyvie’. This type of search can be useful for people who are mentioned very frequently in the magazine, such as Quintin Hogg himself. If you wanted to find out only about Hogg’s footballing career, you could search ‘Hogg football’ on the ALL search.

ANY of these words: this search will find instances when the words being searched for are present individually or together. It is particularly useful if you are not sure of the term that might have been used at a given period of time e.g. if you are interested in water sports across the years, an ANY search for ‘swimming aquatics polo’ might be appropriate.

The search results will show the first 100 results, in reverse date order. Subsequent results can be viewed by using the ‘Next’ and ‘Last’ buttons. You can reverse the date order, to see the oldest hit first, by click on ‘Year’ at the top of the column. Similarly you can order the results alphabetically by article title by click the ‘Title’ heading.

Click on the pdf logo to open the scan. This will open a pdf of a whole issue of the magazine in a separate tab, beginning on the first page of the article which contains your search term(s). If you cannot immediately see your search term, you can either browse through the article using the up and down arrows, or search within that pdf using the Find box.

On the results page you can also click on the details logo to see the issue date, volume number and page reference that you will need should you wish to cite an article.

If your search produces too many results, you can narrow down your search by year (in or before a certain year, in one year only, in or after a certain year, between two years) or by selecting to only search across certain sections of the magazines. An explanation of the sections can be found below. You can also choose to only search in the article title if, for example, you are looking for an obituary of someone.

Searching for specific people

People are usually not be mentioned by their full name. In examination lists, it will usually give a surname and initial. In sports reports, they will often use just the person’s surname or sometimes refer to them by a nickname. It is therefore best to search on surname alone. Try also to narrow down the search by year as much as you are able to.

If you find mention of someone in the magazines, and would like to know if the University’s Archive holds more information about them, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at

Notes on vocabulary

Remember that the magazines are written in the language of their time and so they may not always use the terms we are used to, or necessarily comfortable with.

Here are some examples of search terms to consider when you are searching for the following topics:

Women: in the Polytechnic Magazine the women are often referred to as ‘Our sisters’. You will find reports from the women’s activities at the Institute in the section ‘Young Women’s Institute’ but you may also want to search across all sections for ‘sisters’, ‘girls’ and ‘ladies’.

Sports: When searching for ‘football’, remember to also search for ‘soccer’ (you can use the OR function for this), remembering that ‘football’ will also bring up some references to rugby. Basketball can sometimes appear as ‘Basket ball’. Swimming is often referred to as ‘Aquatics’. For Rowing you can also try searching on ‘Boat Club’. Before 1887, the Polytechnic Harriers is referred to as the ‘HUAC’ (Hanover United Athletics Club); and after this date the title ‘PAC’ (Polytechnic Athletics Club) is often also used.

Sections within the Magazines

As they were published over such a long period, the format and style changed frequently as did the names of headings. Although we expect most users will start with a free text search across all years of the Magazines, we wanted to make it easier to compare information across the years. We have therefore divided the articles in the Magazines into thematic sections:

Advertisements: includes advertisements by commercial firms and all ‘Exchange and Mart’ columns and small advertisements for sales between members.

Albert’s Youth Christian Institute: a separate but related institution. Articles on this appear during the 1880s and 1890s only. No other records about this institution are held in the University Archive.

Christian activities: includes all the activities of religious clubs and societies within the Polytechnic, as well as notifications of and reports on services and events. During the 1880s and 1890s this section includes reports about the Christian Workers’ Union. See also Religious Articles.

Events: includes all exhibitions, dances, dinners, fetes and anniversary celebrations.

Examination Results: includes results for both internal examinations and those awarded by the University of London, the Science and Art department of the Board of Trade, City and Guilds and other trade bodies.

Fundraising: includes appeals for donations to external charitable causes, an in-house benevolence fund, the annual Christmas Dinner appeal, Polytechnic building works and wartime funds.

General Articles: includes all articles not covered by other categories, including short stories, first-hand accounts of visits to other countries, educational texts, interviews and obituaries.

In and Around the Poly: this is nearly always the first few pages of each issue of the magazine. It was called ‘Institute Gossip’ until 1903. This section includes information about forthcoming events and personal news of members.

Letters to the Editor: includes letters from Polytechnic members, often about issues concerning the running of the Polytechnic .

Library: this section includes book reviews and details of recent purchases for the Library. In the very early years it often gives a catalogue of the complete Library stock.

List of Members: in the early years these gives the name of new members of the Institute, sometimes with the age, address, occupation and proposer. Later years include ‘Our Foreign Legion’ listing the name and addresses of members who have moved abroad but who subscribe to the Magazine in order to keep in touch with the Polytechnic.

Poetry: this section includes poetry written by members and published in the magazines as well as publications of other authors’ work.

Poly Tours: includes articles about and reports on holidays organised by the Polytechnic Touring Association

Polytechnic Day School (Boys): articles and news relating to the Boys Day School founded by Hogg in 1886 at 309 Regent Street. The school was evacuated to Minehead in WW2 and when it returned there was no longer space for it in the main Polytechnic building. It was renamed the Quintin School in 1948 and in 1969 it merged with the Kynaston Technical School to become to Quintin Kynaston School, now based in St John’s Wood in North London.

Polytechnic Day School (Girls): articles and news relating to the Girls Day School founded by Hogg in 1888 at Langham Place. It closed in 1907.

Quintinian Monthly: this was a supplement produced by/for the Old Quintinians who were former members of the boys’ school.

Religious Articles: includes bible study pieces, texts of sermons and chaplains notes.

Society and Club Reports: includes all reports of sports and social clubs, including upcoming sports fixtures and results of matches played, and information about social outings. Women’s sports reports will usually appear in the Young Women’s Institute section.

Students Activities: in the early years of the magazine this section includes ‘class notes’ (lecture notes), and news about forthcoming events, as well as timetables and other practical information about the classes. In later years it includes some sports and social activities as well as reports on outings and general educational activities.

War: includes all listings of soldiers enlisted, missing and killed, reports on wartime use of the facilities, appeals for comforts and donations, and general wartime news.

Young Women’s Institute: this section includes educational, sports and social reports from the Young Women’s Christian Institute founded by Hogg in 1888. The section is titled ‘Our Sisters’ prior to 1925.