The SIMPLE SEARCH can be used to find titles, production credits/cast, and keywords/subjects individually or in combination using the 'All' option on the dropdown menu.
Use the TITLE SEARCH to find individual films and TV programmes, newsreels and TV series by title. If, for example, data is required on a particular film, a researcher may find this by using the 'Title' option on the dropdown menu, keying-in the film's title into the search box, and then activating the 'Search' button. The database will then offer a result list comprising 'Exact Title Matches'.
By clicking on the required title, the database will bring up a report on the film organized under the following headings: Film title, Alternative title, Production company, Sponsor, Distributor, Country of origin, and Production personnel. This latter category is divided further into Director, Producer, Script/Adaptation, Photography, Sound recording, Editing, Production design, Art direction, Costume design, Executive producer, Music composer, Music performer, Songs, Narrator, and a comprehensive list of cast members and other production credits.
The record also will contain information regarding the film's production and release dates (or, in the case of television programmes, transmission (TX) date and television channel); whether it is in black and white or colour; silent or sound; its running time; format; language; where a copy (or copies) of the film or programme may be held; a detailed synopsis; general notes regarding the title's history; references; the genre-category in which it is located; and keywords relating to the film's or programme's themes and content. All of these fields can, in turn, be searched through use of the Simple Search engine.
Using the simple search engine in this way will also bring up a list of 'Partial Title Matches'. For example, in the case of Into the West, all titles with the words Into the West with additional words in the title, such as The Making of Into the West, will be called up.
Using the PRODUCTION CREDITS / CAST SEARCH allows the researcher to search directly for production personnel, cast members, and corporate names. If, for example, a researcher wishes to locate the Irish-theme films that John Ford directed, this can be achieved by selecting 'Production Credits/Cast' on the dropdown menu, by typing John Ford into the simple search box and activating the search function. The database will offer a results menu list comprising an 'Exact Production Credits/Cast Match' presenting all films that included the name 'John Ford' in the Production Credits. To bring up further information, the researcher must click on the particular entry of interest.
It is also important to note that if you search for the name John Ford, using the 'All' option, the database will list instances of John Ford in the 'Title' and 'Keywords/Subject'. In this way, researchers can locate titles in which John Ford featured as a participant.
Use the KEYWORDS/SUBJECT SEARCH to search for personalities, places, events, and themes. Using the Simple Search engine as outlined above, the researcher can draw up lists relating to a comprehensive range of keywords/themes.
When using the SIMPLE SEARCH remember to key in whole words and/or phrases - the Index will not respond to incomplete words or phrases.
Given that the Irish Film and Television Index does not operate on Boolean search principles, searches need to be limited and refined. For this reason, the Index also contains an Advanced Search engine that facilitates more specific searching. In addition to using the simple search box as above, the researcher can limit searches according to date ranges, country of origin, language, and genre. So, for example, if a researcher requires information on a John Smith but knows that he was only active during the late 1960s, by using the 'Date Range' search box in conjunction with the 'Production Credits/Cast' or 'Keywords/Subject' search functions, the search can be effectively modified. Similarly, a researcher can limit a search for an event such as the 1916 Rising to newsreel items or feature films by combining it with the required genre in the 'Genre/Category' search box. The advanced search engine also enables researchers to access possible newspaper and magazine references, titles of songs featured, as well as a 'Notes' field in which additional information, such as production context or errors in the on-screen crew or cast lists, is included.
A significant range of cast and crew personnel as well as individual titles of films and television programmes/series within the Irish Film and Television Index are linked to related entries in the separate Biographical database in Irish Film & TV Research Online. These two databases, still works-in-progress, have not reached the advanced stage of the Index.
The ADVANCED SEARCH contains drop-down menus on its 'Country of origin', 'Language', 'Genre', and 'Year' searches - the non-highlighted 'Location', 'Reference', 'Songs' and 'Notes' search boxes require that you key in search words, phrases and names - eg.,: in 'Reference' key in the names of media journals and newspapers, journalists, particular films, TV programmes and/or series; in 'Songs', key in the names of songs, songwriters and musical performers; and in 'Notes' key in names and search phrases relating to additional information about a film or TV programme/series, such as production context or errors in the on-screen crew or cast lists.
When using the ADVANCED SEARCH remember to key in whole words and/or phrases - the Index will not respond to incomplete words or phrases.
General Search Tips:
When searching for TITLES and KEYWORDS don't use definite and indefinite articles. For example, if you are searching for the title The Crying Game, key in 'Crying Game', omitting, 'The'; or, when searching for A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, key in 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', omitting the 'A'. Similarly, when searching for 'The Burren' or 'The Irish Civil War' in KEYWORDS, simply key in 'Burren', and 'Irish Civil War' omitting 'The' in both cases.
The Irish Film & TV Research Index contains a comprehensive range of keywords. The most efficient way to use the Index when searching for keywords is to use known terms, eg. 'schoolchildren', 'divorce', 'bereavement', 'Troubles', 'literature', 'poetry', 'migration', 'cinema', 'travelling community', and so on. It is also instructive to be imaginative when entering terms. If, for example, you are looking for items on 'poetry', you will find a wider range of titles if you key in a number of searches, eg., 'poetry', 'poets', 'poems', etc.