These tips cover searching on Advanced search screens.

Wildcard searches

  • find variations of a keyword by entering the common stem of the word followed by an asterisk (eg Malay* will find Malay, Malaya, Malayan, Malaysia and Malaysian)
  • enter more characters before an asterisk for more precise searching eg Malay* rather than Mal*, which will find malaria, Malay, Malaya, Malcolm male, Malta, Malvern etc
  • find alternative spellings in one search by entering the alternative spellings eg naturalisation naturalization, and select the search option any words


  • to find an acronym enter the string with and without fullstops eg CSIRO C.S.I.R.O. and select the search option any words


  • do not use punctuation or symbols such as + = # ? ( ) [ ] or %
  • full stops, apostrophes and slashes can be used (eg C.S.I.R.O., O'Brien or 11/44 Infantry Battalion)


  • include hyphens (eg use post-war not post war, Governor-General not Governor General)


  • use full uppercase or full lowercase, or in any combination – the result is the same

Single letters

  • use single letters (or numbers) with or without an additional term eg A McKenzie, R J Ewing, 7 Battalion, N275920 Rowell

More information:

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