Examining a painting

You may search our site using the item and list number of our printed catalogues. Simply type a query into the search input box using the form :
[item number]L[list number]. (That's a letter 'L' in between the two numbers.) For example, to look for item 77 in list 139, type "77L139" into the search input box.

For some time it has been possible to search our site using ISBNs. This type of search will find a unique matching title for a book with an ISBN which is known to us. Just type the full 10-digit number into the search input box (don't include hyphens and note that some ISBNs end in 'X'). Many out-of-print and hard-to-find books do not, of course, have ISBNs, and remember that if it's not on the site, it may still be in stock. Please contact us whenever you can't find what you want.

You should always see a search input box in the left-hand 'index' frame of our site. At any time you can type keywords into the input box and then click the Search button.

Once you've done this a results list will be displayed in the same 'index' frame. Clicking on the links in this frame will bring up full records in the records window.

Please note:

By default, searching is set to find only those records that contain all of the keywords you type. For example, typing:

Chinese lacquer

you should produce a result matching what you usually want, viz. records for books mentioning both 'Chinese' and 'lacquer'.

Other things to try:

Remember that you may always search for Hanshan Tang's own book codes (e.g. WGA991, XU0TS2, etc.) and these will retrieve a unique title.

Searching for, e.g.:

"Subjects: Jade"

(including the quote marks) will retrieve all the books which we have coded as on Jade. Because our subject headings are prefixed by "Subject: ". Note however that this will be a narrow search returning only records for the first or main subject heading for a book. Our subject headings are simply those we have used and developed over the years.

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Search Tips

Use plus (+) or minus (-)
Use a plus sign when your search term or phrase must appear in the search results. Use a minus sign to indicate undesirable term(s). The plus sign tells the search engine that a certain word or phrase is required in the search results, and a minus sign indicates that a word or phrase must be absent in the search results.

Note: A phrase must be contained within quotation marks. Leave no spaces between the plus or minus sign and the term.

Use quotation marks
Use quotation marks to find words which must appear adjacent to each other, for example, "Chinese carved lacquer" Otherwise, the search results will include the word Chinese, carved, and the word lacquer, but not necessarily in that order. The words may appear anywhere, and in any order, within the document.

Use appropriate capitalization
Capitalize proper nouns. Lowercase words will match any case. For example, typing china will return all documents containing the words china, China, and CHINA. However, typing China will only search for records where China is capitalized.

Check spelling
Make sure your search terms are spelled correctly. The search engine will attempt to find words that sound similar your search terms, but it is always best to try to spell the search terms correctly.

Use multiple words
Use multiple words when performing your search. The search results will return more refined results from several words than from a single word. For example, typing Tang gold silver will yield more relevant results than typing only gold. (Keep in mind, relevant results are returned even if they don't contain all query terms.)

Use similar words
The more similar words you use in a search, the more relevant results you will get back.