10 October 2015
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The Catalogue
Browse or search the catalogue

The Mills Archive has more than one million records in its care from more than 50 collections. All catalogued items may be consulted free of charge at Watlington House, but you can freely search or browse the catalogue before you come. You may find there is sufficient detail in our catalogue information and scans to save you a trip!

Browsing allows you to explore our holdings by collection or by region. Browsing the collection gives an insight into the main topics we have used to organise a collection. The regional approach reveals all mills in the region selected for which we have one or more images or documents. They are initially arranged by type (eg post mill or undershot waterwheel).

You may also browse the names in the People Index. These can be examined by trade (miller, millwright or other trade) and by contribution to the Archive's records (as an author or as a creator, eg as photographer, note-taker, or artist).

We also provide a method for finding those mills on which we hold records which are within a specific distance of another mill.

You need to register on this site to search or browse the Archive catalogue. (We also have another site. Please see further information about login procedures.)


Go to search page

Our indexes

Mills Archive content (currently 33709 records) is indexed in three ways, each allowing a different approach to the information we hold. If you know which specific mill or person you wish to find, you can search our Mill Index or our People Index. There are also keyword indexes which may help. Note that the indexes only show what we have catalogued and there may be much more in our uncataolgued backlog.


People Index

Social history is an important feature of the Archive. Mill enthusiasts and family historians have collaborated to give us many valuable photographs and documents. You can search our databases to find information on millers; millwrights, mill owners, engineers and others with an involvement in milling.


Mill Index

The main focus of the Mills Archive is traditional mills, ie those powered by wind, water and muscle power. We also collect material on the advent of newer sources of power such as steam and fossil fuels. You will find photographic and documentary material, initially from the British Isles but also in time from continental Europe, North America and the rest of the world.


To capture the wealth of our holdings our cataloguers assign keywords to items of particular interest. You can search by using these to discover good examples of your areas of interest. A facility is available to extend the search to allow the user to study the results of a full text search of the Archive. However, such results will be a lot less specific and users will find less relevant mentions of the subject.

Keywords will identify important items or examples but will not find all the relevant content, as we are still keywording material. Keywording of records is a lengthy and subjective process so it is wise to consider following a keyword search with other searches.


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