Searching tDAR

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Searching tDAR is easy! Yet, it is different than searching a typical library database. This because you are searching directly through a data repository.

You can conduct a basic search through tDAR using the search bar in the upper left corner of any page on tDAR. You can narrow your results using an advanced search. 

A tDAR account is not required to view the results of a search. A tDAR account is required to access the resources stored in tDAR. There is no cost to create an account or access any data in tDAR. 

Basic Search


To conduct a basic search type your search terms in the search box in the upper right-hand corner of any page. Next, click the magnifying glass to view your results. You can also sort and limit the search results.

Basic search

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try a more targeted query with Advanced Search

Advanced Search


Target the resources you are looking for with Advanced Search. Find Advanced Search on the tDAR homepage to the right of the basic search box in the center of the page. 

Advanced search

Use Advanced Search to limit your query to certain categories of resources using the following tools: 

Selecting Search Terms

Choose your search terms in the search toolbar. Select the desired category from the dropdown left of the search bar. Follow the prompts to enter the required keywords to search. This feature allows you to search by title, description, full text (full-text items only, not citation only records), person, institution, ID, calendar dates, radiocarbon dates, project, collection, file name, year, date created, or date uploaded.

Search terms

Using Keywords

You can refine your searches in tDAR using keywords. There are two types of keywords. Controlled keywords are those from a list curated by tDAR. Freeform keywords are keywords not limited to a curated list.

To search using controlled keywords, select one of the items in the controlled keywords subgroup. These are found in the dropdown menu to the left of the search bar. A selectable list will appear. Click the “+” next to terms to expand the menu. Select the keywords you wish to query.

Sorting and Limiting Search Results


By default, search results are sorted by relevance. Ten records are displayed per page, and the number of records, as well as links to click on specific pages, are available at the bottom of the Search Results page.

On the left side of the screen, a menu bar allows you to change the way your results are displayed and limit your results to certain categories of resources.

Filtering search results

Refine Search Results

To refine your search, select Refine your search and return to the Advanced Search page.

Refining search results

Download Results

To download a copy of your search results to Excel, select “to Excel.” The Excel document includes the search terms, a URL to the search results, the individual who downloaded the file with a time and date stamp, and the search results (ID, Resource Type, Title, Date, Authors, Project, Description, Number of Files, URL, and Physical Location). You must be logged in for this option to appear in the toolbar.

Downloading search results