Museum Collections Online Search

specimens in the Zoology Museum storeWant to know exactly what we have in our collections? You can search here to find out!

Already know what you’re doing? Then click here to begin your search:



Our online collections database allows you to search as follows:

Basic Search

At the top right of the screen, above the row of images, you’ll see a Search box. This will perform a cross-search of our Object Category, Accession Number, Title/Description, Creator, Place of Creation/Collection and Narrative fields (see below for more on these). Please note that it does not search on Date of Creation.

For more advanced searching, use the following:


When you first start your search you will see an amphora or vase symbol at the top left, below the row of images. It is greyed out to let you know that you are in the Objects section. If you later do a search in the Narratives section and want to return to the Objects section, you can do so by clicking that symbol.

You can search in the following fields:

Object Category – This is a one-word description of the type of object (eg oil for oil painting) which you can select from a drop-down list.

Collection Name – All of our objects are part of larger collections, usually related to the subject discipline (eg Physics Collection). Collections from the Art College begin DJCAD. Some art collections are separately listed by their donor (eg Alan Woods Bequest). Unfortunately it is not currently possible to search multiple collections here. If you want to search all of our art collections together, for example, you would need to use the Narratives search or the Accession Number (see below).

Accession Number – if you happen to know the catalogue number you can search for it here. This is an easy way to search all of our art collections as their numbers all begin with ARTS: (the only exception is the Artists Book Collection which begins CAB:).

Title/Description – here you can search for the name of an object (eg potentiometer) or title of an artwork (eg The Trickster). For most artworks we have also included descriptions so you can also try searching for key words (eg sunset). Please note that this only searches for whole words, but you can use \* as a wildcard - (eg \*meter will find thermometer, anemometer etc).

Creator – this allows you to search for the maker of an object, either a company (eg Allardyce & Son) or individual (eg John Duncan).

Date of Creation – you can search for a specific year (eg 1984) but many of our objects are catalogued with a rough date (eg c.1980s) so it’s best to try both.

Place of Creation / Collection – where we know it, we have included the place where an object was made (eg Dundee) or where a natural history specimen was found (eg Davis Strait).

Many of our records have images attached to them but not all, so you also have the option to search only for items with images.

When you have entered all the information you need for your search, click on the search button and all the related objects will be listed. Please scroll down to reveal more objects - unfortunately the scroll bar is not very obvious.

Once you have made your search, you can see a detailed view of any object in the results by clicking on the bold text. To move from one object to another, use the arrows in the far right and left of the screen


Next to the amphora symbol at the top left is a symbol showing a piece of paper and a pencil. Clicking on that will take you to the Narratives section of the database.

Narratives are descriptions of groups of objects. They give more information about the various formal collections that we hold but also wider groups of collections (such as all our Fine Art collections) or sub-groups within those (such as Principals’ Portraits), which you may find useful to learn more about what we have.

Because we have only limited narrative information on our database at present, only a few of the available fields will yield any data. You can search on the following:

Title – this is the name of the collection and you can search for any words in it (eg Textile)

Narrative Text – here you can search for any word(s) in the descriptive text (eg D’Arcy Thompson)

Clicking on the title of one of the search results will bring up the descriptive text and links to each of the Object records that are part of that collection. Please note that this can take a while, especially for collections that have hundreds or thousands of records.

My Collection

Next to the Objects and Narratives icons you will see a star – this takes you to the My Collection section. This is simply a way of viewing objects that you’ve previously marked as being of interest. When you do an Object search, you’ll notice that each record listed has a small tick-box to the right. Click in the box to add that record to My Collection.

If you go to My Collection and press the arrow pointing right, your chosen objects will be shown grouped together.


Problems? Please don’t hesitate to contact us on or 01382 384310.


Skip to top ↑