For a description of the type and scope of material contained in the Early Modern London Theatres (EMLoT) database, please see the Introduction.

For guidance on how to properly cite EMLoT in your work, please see Introduction: How to cite EMLoT.

Navigating the Database

The EMLoT database comprises a number of interlinked records of different types: Transcription Records, Primary & Secondary Sources, Events, People, Troupes and Venues. Because of the way in which EMLoT's data is structured and interlinked, navigating through the database can be an open-ended multi-directional journey if you click on a new link in every record you view. However, in almost all situations you will be starting by carrying out a search that will produce a results list. Whether you see a list of matching records generated by a search, or a list of associated records linked to a particular record, you can then select any of the individual records comprising that list. Note that in many situations, you will be able to backtrack by clicking on your browser’s Back button. In other situations, however, material will be opened in a new tab in your browser, and you can backtrack simply by closing this tab.

How to Search

There are two ways to search the EMLoT database: by Keyword(s) or by using the faceted Browser. The search pages are accessible by selecting 'Search the Database' and then, in the submenu, selecting either 'Keyword Search' or 'Browse Search'.

Keyword Search

To search by keyword(s), enter one or more words into the search box in the left column. Below the search box, you can select whether you want to search for your keywords in the data EMLoT holds about Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, People, Events, Troupes or Venues (Events are selected by default). The meaning of most of these types of data in EMLoT are self explanatory, but definitions of some of these types of data are available on the Key Terms page (see submenu above).

To execute a Keyword search, after typing in the word or words you wish to use select the 'Go' button to the right of the search box. The matching items will display in the Matching Records Display on the right. The number in parentheses in the 'Matching Records' headings is the total number of items returned by the search. To view a particular item, click on the portion that is highlighted (in blue). This will take you to the page of the selected item. The selected item will be displayed in a new tab by your browser. Thus, you can return to the search/matching items page by simply closing this new tab. In some types of lists (events, for example), some columns contain linked text as well. For instance, the column containing people associated with an event will have links to the displays EMLoT can produce about those people. Here too, if you click on a person’s name, the display of information will open in a new tab in your browser. Close the tab to return to the list.

EMLoT uses the “fuse” text search engine, so the parsing of multiword text searching follows its rules. For the record type you have selected, the keyword search will search for each word you have entered, and only items containing all the words in the list will be selected. For example, if you entered Christopher Beeston and selected 'People,' the Keyword Search will search for and return all people records where 'Christopher' AND 'Beeston' appears as a Forename OR Surname. Double quotes around multiple words will cause the fuse engine to look for the words as a phrase.

Remember that the fuse engine implements what is called a fuzzy search, so what is selected may include words that are not an exact match for what you have specified. Furthermore, the keyword seach mechanism draws on data associated with its entities, not just the entity itself. Thus for example, choosing to search on Persons, and entering the name "Edward" will not only get people named Edward, but also those with assocations with people named Edwards. John More appears in an "Edward" search, for example, because he is associated with an issue about ground rent that involved Edward Alleyn.

To search using the same keyword(s) in another type of data, select the desired data type from the submenu of types in the “Search for” area and enter the keyword(s) again.

Browse Search


The faceted browser, which is the primary navigation mechanism in EMLoT, can be opened by choosing “Search the database” from the top menu, and then choosing “Browse”. The Browse display starts by showing you all the items of the chosen type in the right area. Browse starts by focusing on Events, but you can make the browser work on other data types by choosing one of the types under the “Search for” heading.

Having chosen the kind of data you want to explore, you then can narrow your search through filtering caused by selecting in the left hand area various facets and elements within those facets. The facets are grouped according to the following categories: Document: Description, Citation, Event & Person, Troupe & Venue, and Dates. Selecting these categories opens up submenus that contain the facets, which, when selected, open up further menus of the elements of these facets. The number in parentheses following each element represents the number of items in which that element appears. The facets and their elements constitute authority lists, created by EMLoT's editor, that have enabled the standardization, classification and sophisticated searchability of EMLoT's content.

How to Use the Browse Search

When you select an element, the items matching your selection will appear in the Selected Elements Display above the Matching Records Display. When an element is selected, the number of occurrences of the other elements in the facet choosing area decrease or elements disappear to reflect the matching records that are associated with the selected element. Selected facet elements can be removed one by one by clicking on the X button next to the last element in the Selected Facets Display. You can also start over by choosing “Reset Search” which is displayed near the top of the facetted selection area.

To use the faceted browser effectively, you should have a clear sense of your search goals, or at least a clear sense of the next step in your search. For example, if you wanted to search for primary sources relating to the Phoenix/Cockpit Theatre first you need to choose “Primary Sources” in the gray box – this will cause the search to focus on primary sources. Having done this, you would select the Troupe & Venue category, then the Venue Name facet, then the Phoenix/Cockpit element. This element would then appear in the Selected Elements Display as Troupe & Venue | Venue Name | Phoenix/Cockpit, and the matching primary sources displayed in the list to the right.

In this Matching Items list area, you will find a list of every primary source in the EMLoT database that has been related to the Phoenix/Cockpit theatre. For each of these items the "Title" column has highlighted entries. Click on one of these to see the particular material EMLoT has for that primary source. Alternatively, one could look up information about one of the authors associated with a primary source by clicking on his/her name in the first column of results.

Having selected primary records associated with the Phoenix/Cockpit, you can filter further focusing only on those particular records. For example, by opening Citation | Author Name one can select an author who wrote a primary source that refers to the Phoenix/Cockpit. You will see that there are five sources written by Massinger that fit this criteria. Choosing him will change the list of sources on the right to be those specific five. If you wish, you could repeat the process again to add further filters. Overall, then, the experience of using the facetted browser is one of a step-by-step process, adding multiple filters one after the other to focus on items that might interest you. If you wish to start again from the beginning, you can “reset search” by clicking on that text near the top of the lefthand facet selection area.

What do the facets mean?

The facets and their elements constitute authority lists, created by EMLoT's editor, that have enabled the standardization, classification and sophisticated searchability of EMLoT's content.

When you start a browsing sequence, you can choose what kind of items to browse: Events, Venues, Troupes, People, Transcription Records, or Primary or Secondary Sources. Perhaps surprisingly, for all these kinds of browsing items you will find the kinds of facets available to you stays the same. What does any of these facets mean for the different kinds of target items?

If you are focusing on Events, say, it is probably immediately clear what it means to filter on one of the facets: Event Type. Even the meaning of choosing something like “Person Surname” in the light of events is straightforward enough: “find me all events that involve person(s) with the selected surname." However, if instead of Events, you choose Primary Sources as your target, and you then choose “Event Type” as your facet – what is meant by that? Most of the time, the selection passes through “events”. In this case, then, you are asking for Primary Sources that contain one or more events of the selected type. Similarly, focusing on Primary Sources, but choosing to filter on Troupe Type will choose primary sources that describe one or more events that involve the selected type of Troupe.

A final example: if you were focusing on persons, and chose a particular Troupe as a filter, it might be natural to assume that you would get the list of persons who were part of that Troupe. However, if one remembers that facet selection passes through “events” it becomes clear that all persons associated with events that were connected to the selected troupe would be included, and some of these people would not necessarily be actual troupe members.