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Help for the Manuscripts & Archives Digital Image Database

Each image in this resource is accompanied by descriptive text, which can be searched to find appropriate images. There are three different methods of searching this text.

Keyword Searching

Keyword searching allows you to search all textual fields. If you search more than one word at a time, any records you retrieve will have all of the words that you search.

Example search: Lippmann golf

This search will retrieve only those images that use both the words "Lippmann" and "golf" in their description.

Note: you can use "and" in your searches (e.g. Lippmann and golf) but this is not necessary.

Phrase Searching

Phrase searching allows you to search all textual fields for a specific string of words.

Example search: "Spirit of St. Louis"

This search will retrieve only those images that use this phrase in the exact way it is entered.

Note: Phrase searching is not always the best way to search for names in MADID. If, for example, you search "Charles A. Lindbergh" as a phrase, you will not retrieve those records that list him as "Charles Lindbergh," "Lindbergh," "Lindbergh, Charles," etc. While the search is not as precise, you are better off searching for names as Keywords.

Field Searching

Field searching allows you to limit your searches to specific fields of the textual description. The most useful fields to search include the following: Image Number, Description, Long Description, Date of Image, and Photographer. To search a specific field, you must first select it from the pull down menu and then enter the keyword(s) you wish to search.

Field searching also allows you to perform more complicated searches using Boolean logic.


Browsing allows you to view all images taken from specific manuscript collections, university archives record units, and Yale publications. To browse, first select either "Browse Manuscript Collections," "Browse University Archives," or "Browse Yale Publications." You will then see an alphabetical list of titles from which you can choose.

Example search:   Choose "Browse Manuscript Collections"
Select "Beecher Family Papers"

You will then see all of the images in the database that have been scanned from the Beecher Family Papers. Note that you will not see other images related to the Beecher Family that are in other collections.

Saving Images

After a successful search, MADID allows you to create a subset of relevant images and to temporarily save those images for tracking purposes. You may save an image from either the thumbnail or zoom view by clicking on the "Save" box. To view all of your saved images, click on the "Saved" button in the top right corner of the page, which will bring you to a separate page that lists your saved images. At this point, you can also remove an image by clicking on the "Remove" button under each image.

You can use the compiled list for ordering reproductions or as an easy reference of images and image numbers.

If you need help searching this resource or finding images by other means, please feel free to contact the reference archivist at or by calling (203) 432-1744.

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