Simple search

You can use a single word to search for records, such as 'Cabinet'.

If you use a very broad term, like 'immigration', you will find all records created by the Department of Immigration, as well as all records about immigration.

If you use more than one search term, for example 'race policy', you will get fewer results – you will retrieve only records that contain both terms. If you want Vrroom to find records on any words you enter, or on an exact phrase, you can do an advanced search.

The advanced search gives you ways to target your search so the results are more relevant.

What am I searching?

A simple search in Vrroom will scan:

  • titles
  • descriptions
  • years in which records were created
  • keywords (words we have tagged records with)
  • content creators (people who created the content)
  • record creators (agencies that created a record of the content).


All Vrroom searches use the built-in thesaurus – a list of synonyms for keywords. These synonyms are words or phrases we have related to the keywords, trying to anticipate the range of similar terms that people might use to find records of interest.

Case doesn't matter

All Vrroom searches are case insensitive. For example, searching for 'Mauritius', 'mauritius' or 'MAURITIUS' will retrieve the same results.

Advanced search

Advanced search gives you more control over what you retrieve.


The keyword part of the search scans the same fields as a simple search, except that it won't scan the year field, since there's a dedicated field for year (see below).

Any word, all words, exact phrase

In the advanced search, you can choose how Vrroom will interpret your keyword or phrase:

  • 'Any word' will find every record that uses any of the words in any of the fields listed above.
  • 'All words' will find records that use all of your search terms, regardless of where in the metadata (information about the record) they appear.
  • Choosing the option 'Exact phrase' is like putting your search terms in inverted commas. The database will retrieve only records whose metadata contains that exact phrase. The 'Exact phrase' option is the default in a simple search.


You can filter results to show only records particular to a state or territory. We have looked at each record in Vrroom to consider whether place is an important aspect of its significance, or whether that record would be important to people from a particular state or territory. Use the dropdown menu to select your state. Note that it is also possible to use the keyword search on each capital city to find records according to where they were created.


Use this field if you want to limit your search results to records created in a particular year or during a particular period.

Media type

The next row in the advanced search form allows you to filter your search results by media. Most records in the National Archives collection are text based, but here you can opt to retrieve only photos or only records in other media, such as artworks, maps or plans.