Search (Home):

This function searches all data fields for the word(s) you have specified, either in one museum or in all six institutions.

Select the museum collection you wish to search from the drop-down menu, or select "All" to include all six institutions. Type a word or combination of words and click the "Search" button. Searches are automatically inclusive, so when you search for a term the results will include all of the variations that exist within the collection you have selected. Searches are not case sensitive.

Example: A search for the word smith will return results by the artists Michael A. Smith and Larkin Goldsmith Mead, as well as the etching entitled A Blacksmith's Shop and a woodcut with the credit line Bequest of Emma Moody Smith.

The percent sign (%) acts as a wildcard that is useful when you are unsure of spelling, when there are alternate spellings, or when you only know part of a term.

Example: Mir% returns results for Miró, Joán and Mirbeau, Octave.

Browse by Tags:

Browsing by tag allows you to view an alphabetical list of tags (words that have been assigned to certain records) and click to view groups of objects that have been tagged with that word.

Tags describe what is visually depicted by a work of art (what the image is "of"), and occasionally broader themes depicted by the work (what the image is "about"). Tagging collection records is an ongoing process and browsing by tag will not return all relevant results.

Tags are selected through an open, collaborative process at all six museums. Terms are derived from Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus and the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Advanced Search:

This function enables you to refine your results by searching one or more data fields. Select the museum collection you wish to search from the drop-down menu, or select "All" to include all six institutions. Combining more than one field will generally limit the number of search results; to broaden your results, try searching only a few fields. . To avoid mistakenly excluding results that you might want, search for the terms for which you are most certain. Advanced Searches are not case sensitive, and they are inclusive of all variations of the term(s) entered. The percent sign (%) should be used to replace diacritics (such as accents or special characters) or when the correct spelling of a term is uncertain.

Object Number:

The Object Number, also known as an Accession Number, is a unique number assigned to each museum object. Object Numbers include institutional abbreviations (HC = Hampshire College; HD = Historic Deerfield; MH = Mount Holyoke; MH SK = Mount Holyoke College Joseph Allen Skinner Museum; SC = Smith College; UM = UMASS Amherst) and typically record the year and sequential order in which the object was acquired.

Searching for an Object Number will often retrieve more than one object. For example, searching for AC 1945.10 will retrieve that Object Number, as well as AC 1945.100, AC 1945.101, AC 1945.102, etc.


You may enter the Maker's last name (otherwise known as Artist or Artist's Name) followed by the first name, separated by a comma (ex. Jones, Anne), or you can search more broadly by entering only the first or last name. The database does not accept the format of first name followed by last name (ex. Anne Jones) and will not return accurate results for such searches.

Maker Culture:

Culture is a broad term for the maker's cultural designation or the object's place of origin. Examples for this field include British, Peruvian, American, or African. In some cases, specific peoples are also searchable with this field, such as Yoruba or Inca. Inconsistent data standards may result in incomplete results; to obtain all results it may be necessary to try more than one spelling, such as Inca and Inka.

Object Name/Title:

Other names include assigned titles, names of sitters in portraits, and specific types of decorative arts objects, such as vase or spoon. Searching for a word fragment is often useful if you are interested in a particular theme or are uncertain of the specific title of an object. For example, searching for memor will bring up titles with words memory, memorial, and commemorative. Similarly, the inclusive nature of the search may bring up additional, unexpected results. For example, searching for Amherst will retrieve objects with titles such as Lord Jeffrey Amherst and UMass Amherst.

Object Type:

Object Type refers to a general category of medium or function, such as painting, sculpture, textile, or tool.

Place Made:

If known, the geographic location where the object was made is entered here.


This field is a specific description of the media or materials and techniques with which the object was made, including terms like oil, watercolor, silk, daguerreotype, or marble. As with the other fields, a search for silver will retrieve objects made of the metal silver as well as photographs described as gelatin silver print.


This field is a written description of the object. It can be useful for finding objects that depict a particular subject, such as a bird, landscape, or bridge. Data entry for this field is varied and subjective. One person may describe a painting of Aphrodite with the word goddess; another may list the words woman and nude. Searches are inclusive of all the variations that exist, so searching for hair will also retrieve chair.


Tags are a list of words or tags that have been applied to the object in addition to the description.

Credit Line:

The Credit Line describes how the institution acquired the object, often including words such as purchase, gift or a donor's name (for example Jones). Searching within this field is useful if you know the name of a donor or a lender, or when that individual graduated from one of the affiliated academic institutions (in this case you can often search class of or a specific year). This field is often most useful when used in conjunction with another field.

Narrative Inscription:

Any textual inscription on the object, such as an artist's signature, is described in this field.

Date Made:

This field refers to a specific date when an object was made, such as 1793. This field is automatically inclusive. For example, searching for 18 will retrieve all objects produced in years beginning, ending, and including 18: 1812, ca. 1850, 1618, 1188, and 18th century (when no specific date is known). Similarly, searching for 192 will retrieve all objects produced in years beginning, ending, and including 192: 1924, ca. 1927, and 1192 B.C.E. The "date made" searches are useful when searching for works from a particular decade. You should fill information in the Date Made field OR the Date Range field.

Date Range:

These fields refer to the date range of an object's creation. For example, to search for objects created in the nineteenth century, enter 1800 in the first box and 1899 in the second box. If your date(s) are before the Common Era (BCE), you must enter a minus sign (-) before the date, for example, -300. You should fill information in the Date Made field OR the Date Range field.

Login/Create Groups:

Registering with this website is not required, but allows you to create and save groups of objects that can be shared with others. After entering your email address, a password will be sent to your account.