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Search or Browse

This website offers you two different ways to find images.


If you want to look for a specific subject, you can either type one or more keywords into the Search Box at the top of each page, or use the Advanced Search button to help you conduct more sophisticated searches – find this feature on the top right of every page.


Alternatively, to look at editorial features by category, click the Features button, or to see images selected from other collections, such as books on interior design produced by Jacqui Small Publishing and magazines by Express Roularta, click on one of the options in the Collections menu.

Simple Searches: The Search Box

The Search Box

There is a Search Box located at the top of every page on the website. To conduct a basic search, simply enter one or more keywords (using the singular and not the plural form) and click Enter or the magnifying glass icon. The results will be displayed on a new page.

Onward searches

Once you’ve looked at the images produced by your search, you have two choices. You can use the Search Box again or go to an image preview, click Keywords and check the box next to any keywords you want to search with and click the Search button beneath the keywords. Alternatively, if you want to view the feature or gallery that the image is contained within, click on the link or links next to Featured Collections in the image preview.

Advanced use of the Search Box

The Search Box is often used to conduct searches using a single keyword (such as ‘chair’), but this simple kind of search produces the least specific results.

For more specific results you should use additional keywords, for example, ‘kitchen table’ rather than simply ‘table’, or ‘French windows garden’ rather than simply ‘French windows’. Note that using keywords without what is called an operator (most commonly, the words ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘not’, which help define the relationship between two or more search terms) results in a so-called ‘AND search’: one in which the results will include images whose keyword lists include all the words you have typed in.

Searches using two or more words result in sets of images that are described by all those words, regardless of their position in a caption or list of keywords. So, for example, a search for ‘ceiling rose’ will produce not only images of ceiling roses but images that happen to feature both ceilings and roses. To see only the kind of images you expect to in your search results, make sure the search engine treats particular word combinations as separate search items by putting them inside inverted commas, e.g. ‘ceiling rose’, ‘country house’ or ‘garden bench’.

Detailed searches: Advanced Search

Click on Advanced Search in the top right of any page and follow the search tips on the page.

Search Tips

Searching our material

The Interior Archive is a specialist picture library, so we have attached very specific keywords to our images. So, whether you want images of a chaise-longue, a pergola, a dacha, a bolster, a loft conversion, a roll-top bath or simply a bedroom, be as precise as you can with your choice of words. (Also, always use the singular form – so, no plurals.)

Once you’ve conducted a few searches you will probably notice that some of the keywords we’ve attached to our images define a particular concept (e.g. ‘history’), style (e.g. ‘contemporary’), mood (e.g. ‘imposing’) or condition (e.g. ’empty’). So, in addition to using nouns such as ‘bedroom’, ‘terrace’ and ‘clock’, you can also conduct a search using descriptive or conceptual terms. Click on ‘Conceptual and descriptive keywords’ in the menu on the left to see more examples.

To find a specific image you have seen on the website before, or to look at the work of a particular photographer, you can also enter an image’s unique reference code or a photographer’s name into the Search Box.

If you are in interested in the subject of a particular image and would like to see more images featuring the same property, garden or location, type the first two parts of the image reference (e.g. SU_134 or FS_23) into the Search Box to see whether other images from the same shoot are also in the online collection.

Format of search terms

Search terms should only use the singular form – so, use ‘bed’ not ‘beds’ and ‘living room’ not ‘living rooms’, etc.

Words can be entered in both upper and lower case.

Avoid using phrases such as ‘images of’, ‘pictures containing’, ‘view out of a window’, etc. Remember that the website matches images with what you type in by looking for instances of one or more words in picture captions and keyword lists, not by looking for descriptions.

Conceptual and descriptive keywords

Once you have conducted a few searches, you will probably notice that some of the keywords we’ve attached to our images aren’t just straightforward nouns – they define a particular concept, style, mood or condition.

To give you a sense of the kind of terms that you can use in image searches on this website other than nouns, below are a few examples of the conceptual and descriptive keywords we have used, and the way in which we have applied them.

Displaying and navigating search results

Displaying search results

On the Search Results pages, you can select how many images you see on each page by clicking on Display Options and changing the number in the dropdown

Navigating search results

To navigate through the search results, use the Next page/Previous page or image range drop down that appear both at the bottom and the top of each Search Results page.

Asking us to do a search for you

Searching the transparency library

This website features only a selection of our extensive collection of images. If you can’t find what you are looking for online, you can ask us to do a search of our entire transparency library on your behalf. (You can also ask us to check whether there are more images in the transparency library of a particular property or location that you have seen online.)

Searching the online collection

If you are short of time, you can also ask us to prepare a lightbox of images from the online collection on your behalf, and email it to you – but please be aware that we cannot always guarantee same-day delivery.

Request a search

Email a request to or call us on +44 (0)1363 777499.