The browse pages give access to lists of all the cataloguing terms which have been applied to images on the Art and Architecture web site. Navigating around the browse lists is a way of getting a bird’s eye view of what is on the site.
Unlike searching, which tends to be a hit or miss affair, browsing these cataloguing terms allows you to home in on a subject, without the feeling that you may be missing interesting material simply because you haven’t used the right search term.
Each term in each list is followed by a number in brackets. This number is the number of images which have been catalogued using that term. For instance, if you see 'dogs (322)', that means that there are 322 pictures with dogs in them (although a dog may not be the main subject of the image). That number is also a link: if you click it, you will see those 322 images listed in the Results page.
The browse categories available to you are:
- Keywords: a very broad range of words, from specialist architectural terms to familiar categories like Nature, Science and Entertainment
- Location: a list of all the locations of objects featured in images on the site, mainly used for architecture and sculpture, but can also be used to see if a particular place features as the subject of a painting or drawing
- Types: every image is classified according to one of over 6,000 types, ranging from choir stalls to swimming pools, from charcoal drawings to shopping centres
- Creators: a definitive list of artists, architects, photographers and sculptors whose works are shown on the site
- People: subjects of portraits and memorials, patrons, mythical heroes, kings and queens
All these terms can be browsed individually by following the appropriate link across the top of the browse page. Creators and people are listed alphabetically, but keywords, locations and types can also be browsed hierarchically.
Browsing hierarchically means that you navigate down from broad general categories into ever-narrowing sub-categories. The numbers in brackets here reflect all the terms which have been catalogued using not only that term but also all terms which come below it in the hierarchy. Browsing hierarchically, 'dogs (322)' might fall below 'mammals (1835)' which itself might fall below 'animals (3178)' and 'nature (7602)'.
Browsing hierarchically allows you to explore the collections by focusing on an area which interest you, and is a good way of assessing the range of material available. For instance, the locations hierarchy will quickly show you that the site is very rich in material from Europe, but very much weaker in all other areas of the world. (This is not from choice but dictated by the material we have available!)