There are 6 ways of finding sources in the BSIP IRP:

The best methods to use depends on the information you have available, and to some degree what you are trying to achieve. In the table below the methods are listed in order of the quickest method/most relevant results.

Find sources using Methods for finding sources
BSIP Reference.

Direct from the Dashboard
Simple Search

Artist name.

Browse - People
Advanced Search
Simple Search

Current location,
Place of creation.

Browse - Last Known Location  / Creation Location
Advanced Search
Simple Search

Location names may be ambiguous. Browse filtering and advanced searching have access to the full geographic context which may be used to eliminate any confusion.

Artwork Type,
Creation Technique.

Browse - Artwork Type / Material / Creation Technique
Advanced Search
Simple Search

In general the data recorded reflects that ofered by the source of the metadata (such as dealer/museum/auction house). This information may not be complete. The use of a controlled vocabulary reduces variability of names between metadata sources.

Dates, or a date range.

Advanced Search
Simple Search


Browse - Tag Sets
Advanced Search
Simple Search

Geographic area (which may be defined by a box described using longitude/latitude).

Advanced Search

The advanced Search offers the ability to search using geographic boxes. These are based on specifying a line of latitutde with a box width, and a line of longitude, again with a box width.

Book or manuscript titles or references,
The name of the building where the artwork is part of the fabric of the building.

Browse - Collective Sources
Advanced Search

These are known as collective sources.

Instrument names.

This is not currently supported, and is explained in the FAQ.

The results obtained via a search will reflect only those where the name is used in the fields which are included in the search. Due to incorrect naming by museums and auction houses these results may be unreliable.

Looking at the above table may give the impression that Simple Search does not perform well. In general it will find what you are looking for, it is just that it is likely to return a lot more sources than you need because the search term may match different fields. Browsing and Advanced Searches target the search term matching and thus will produce more focused results.

For the adventurous the Explore menu offers a random source. When selected, a random source will be brought up in the Source Image Viewer. This can be a great way to discover artworks you may not have considered looking at - who knows where this might lead!

If you just want to look through some wonderful iconography then Browse is the place to go, once in the Source Image Viewer you can simply click the next and previous buttons to look at each source in turn.