The online archive that can be searched currently comprises of summaries of minutes and letters and verbatim text of minutes and important letters.
When you enter a single word in the Search box and press the Search button occurrences of that word within the electronic archive will be identified. The first sentence containing the sought for word will be displayed, with the word highlighted. Searches are case insensitive, and include word parts, so a search for Bridge will also match Wallbridge and Dudbridge.
To search for a phrase enter the phrase within double quotes, e.g. "Blunder Lock".
If you enter two words without the quotes then pages containing both terms will be identified, but unless they occur in the same sentence they may not appear in the search result.
If you do not want particular words to appear in your search result you can precede these words with a hyphen, e.g. Bridge -Wallbridge -Dudbridge. To remove specific phrases you can enter a quoted phrase after the hyphen, e.g. Saul -"Saul Junction" -"Saul Lodge".
To search for documents in a particular year enter the date, e.g. 1855.
A date can also be used to qualify a search term, e.g. Saul 1776 or "Blunder Lock" 1792.
To search for documents in a range of years enter two dates separated by a two full stops, e.g. 1830..1850 or "Blunder Lock" 1830..1850.
To search for documents from a certain year enter the start date followed by two full stops, e.g. 1850.. or "Blunder Lock" 1850..
To search for documents up to a certain year place two full stops before the year, e.g. ..1860 or "Blunder Lock ..1860
You can also search for documents based on their date (e.g. 15 Feb 1820).
Text in the Summary box has been normalized to assist with searching. For example, if you enter the search "claimed share" you will be given a list of all share transfers recorded in the minute books. Because the number of such entries exceeds 100 you will find a box at the end of the first page of the list with the number 1 highlighted. Clicking on the number 2 will take you to the next 100 entries, and on 3 will take you to the last set of entries. Some searches will return many such sets of 100 entries.
Please remember that things change with time, and that what you are looking for may have had a different name in the past. In the summaries we have tried to use the modern form of place and canal names where possible. But in the Verbatim Text we have used the original names. This can lead to confusion. Perhaps the worst example of this is the canal that cut across the Stroudwater Navigation at Saul Junction in 1826. Originally called the Gloucester & Berkeley Canal, though it never got as far as Berkeley, it was also referred to as the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal, The Sharpness New Docks and Gloucester and Birmingham Navigation Company (often shortened to Sharpness New Docks or simply the Dock Co) or in shorthand as the G&B, which is used in summaries to distinguish reference to the canal from references to the company.
Place names are also problematical. What we know as Whitminster was sometimes referred to as Wheatenhurst. There are many, many different spellings of Chippenhams Platt, and Framilode was originally Framiload. You may need to undertake a number of searches to find all the information within the archives about a place, though there are certain useful tricks using the partial match function. For example a search for Framil will match both Framiload and Framilode while Chip matches most of the variant spellings for Chippenhams Platt. Unfortunately Wh will not help as there are too many words starting with this pair of letters so you will need to do a separate search for both Whitminster and Wheatenhurst.