MESDA Object Database Help

objectdatabase04Important: Be patient for search results to appear. Depending on your Internet connection, it can take upwards of a minute for some complex searches to complete.

Broad to Narrow Search Terms: If your search yields no results, try a broader term or just a surname instead of a full name (i.e., chair rather than great chair; Shaw rather than John Shaw). Also, try a search with fewer parameters (i.e., chair and Shaw rather than armchair and Shaw and Annapolis and 1800).

Searches with Quotation Marks: Do not enclose search terms within quotation marks in any search field. Such a search will result in no returned records.

Objects in the MESDA Collection: Objects in the MESDA collection are not included in the Object Database. To access records of objects in the MESDA collection, click Search the Collection.



•  When you enter search terms in this field you will search all words in all the records in the database.

•  To search for a phrase, do not enter the word inside quotes: corner cupboard, not “corner cupboard”

•  Word Search is best used when searching for terms that would not be included in one of the available search fields.

•  Note that the keyword could be contained in a field that is not visible to public users of the Object Database.



Object Name:

• If your search yields no results, try a broader term (i.e., chair rather than great chair; pot rather than chamber pot).

• Try inverting your search terms (i.e., press, linen instead of linen press).


•  Names appear last name first (Shaw, John or Bell, Solomon).

• If still no records are returned, try a search by surname only.

Place Made:

•  Spell out state names instead of using abbreviations. The same applies to country names.

•  If your geographic search results in no returns try a broader term (i.e., Salisbury instead of Salisbury, NC).


Use single year date only (1775). Results will include records with that specific year and records with date ranges that include that year (i.e., 1770–1790).



•  Use your internet browser’s “Print” function (usually found under the “File” menu item) to print pages. If you have a PDF creator or virtual printer installed on your computer you can “Print” to your search results to a PDF document.



If you have questions or want to request further information about our research holdings, please contact the MESDA Research Center at [email protected] or call 336-721-7379.