How to use ARGUS


ARGUS allows to search accross all or a choice of integrated finding aids. The search can be further restricted to certain areas inside the finding aids and to exact matches or use stemming.

The content of the search engine is placed on two levels. The upper level serves as a structuring tool for the basic level. It can show the holdings guide with descriptions of the individual record groups of the repository. Its navigation tree shows the tectonics of the holdings as a clickable structure of all collections. The upper level is linked to the basic level for those collections that are already available via online finding aids. The basic level contains the detailed description of records groups including the call numbers of the descriptive units.

In the implementation for the SED-FDGB-Archives network the upper level consists of a list of the participating archival services and their relevant holdings groups. The basic level contains the lists of the record groups, that might be selected for a combined search.   


How to search:

The search term is entered into the search box. Clicking on "Suche" starts the search accross all finding aids. The middle area of the search screen offers several options for restricting the search by defining search areas in the finding aids. The selection of specific finding aids for combined searching is possible and Boolian search can be used.  


How to select finding aids for cross search:

The link in the text line underneath the search box can be used to restrict the search to the finding aids wanted. It opens the upper level with a structured list of all finding aids with further information on the holdings. In the left navigation frame as well as in the title list in the middle those parts that lead to online finding aids are blue.

Clicking the box left from the description text selects the respective finding aid for the combined search. Close the selection by clicking on the ARGUS button in the blue bar on top of the title list. That leads again to the search screen with a list of the selected finding aids under the search box. To erase the list click on “Liste löschen”.


The listing of the hits:

The results are listed at the buttom of the search page in groups of 20. The next 30 hits can be reached on the next page clicking on the respective page number. You can increase the groups to 50 or 100 results per page. The list shows the title of the finding aids together with the header of the lowest classification group in which the search term was found. It is shown once also if the term was found repeatedly in the same group. Left of the header a plus sign allows to open the complete hierarchy with all superior headers and down to the descriptive units. The single title can be chosen here and clicking on it opens the finding aid at the respective page. Clicking on the header opens the classification group.


Navigating between results:

Hits are shown inside the context of the respective finding aids with yellow high lighting. The click on the title opens the finding aid showing the page with the search result. In the left frame the table of content as a navigation tree is opened at the respective chapter and in the header frame all superior levels of classification show the actual position inside the finding aid. From here deliberate navigation through the whole finding aid is possible, while the search term remains in the blue bar and allows to jump to the next hit whenever wanted.

The next hits are reached by clicking on the white arrows leading to the right or the left. They open the next result. No yellow highlighting is shown if the screen should be scrolled down because the description contains a longer text. Or the term was eventually found in information that is inherited from higher levels in the structure or from a series title.

The title page of the next finding aid indicates that the arrow leads to a hit in another finding aid. A second click advances the navigation to the next result.


Printing out results:

Left of the description text a clickable printer symbol opens a separate window with the complete description including the headers of the higher levels of hierarchy. This can be printed out for instance as a note or for ordering the file for the reading room. 


Ordering records for consultation:

The descriptive material can be consulted in the reading room of the archival service. Records can be ordered in advance by sending the call numbers including the reference number of the record group and the title from the title page of the finding aid. Or send us the notes printed with the printer symbol. Loan is not possible because all material is unique. Reproductions on microfilm or digital images can be ordered. For details see the general information on the website of the Federal Archives under


Further developments:

Results in larger classification groups may need some time for download and presentation on the screen. The table of content shows up after the completion of the download of all titles. We work on improving of the download times.