As many of you probably already noticed, Pilsen archives moved completely from ActaPublica.eu to PortaFontium.eu website. Website is available in two languages - Czech and German, English is missing and I'm not sure it's planned to be implemented. As many of you don't understand neither Czech nor German, I decided to prepare an illustrated guide through this website.
When you open mentioned website you will see welcome screen as above. There are four different types of sources - Matriky (registries), Kroniky (chronicles), Listiny (deeds) and Fotografie (photos). Matriky are the most important ones so let's focus on them.
Click on the name Matriky and it will get you to the search page. It also shows all of the registries included in the system. There is huge improvement when you compare PortaFontium to ActaPublica website. It's possible to search by several options. Let's check them.
The columns are as follows: Archiv (archives) - cokoli (anything); Nadpis (caption of the registry book), Místo (place), Text (any text included in the registry description), Typ matriky (registry type) - cokoli (anything), where are following types - Matrika (registry) or Index (index) narozených (of births), oddaných (of marriages), zemřelých (of deceased); then there is possibility to limit the search by time span - od roku (from) do roku (to) in years.
We will use the easiest way - by the place our ancestors were from. I have taken village of Plichtice as an example, filled in its name and pressed Enter key (or you can click on Hledat icons to the right).
It listed all of the registries for this village. There is only one village of such name in Western Bohemia so it's quite easy to decide which registry to search. The registries are sorted in alphabetical order and the columns are as follows: Archiv (archives) - in which archives is the registry stored; Nadpis (caption) - name of the parish book; first part is a name of parish, second number of the book in the parish; Místo (place) - list of places covered by the registry; Datace (time span) - contains also information about type of the registry: * - births, oo marriages, + deaths, i = index; Obsah (content) - information about the content of the book; Obr. data (images) - link to the parish book's images.
You can limit the search by the type of the registry - when you choose one of the listed options, the search result will list only registries of such type. I have chosen index of births and it listed four parish books which I can search:
I choose the one which suits my needs to search it by clicking the magnifier to the right. If you click on the Nadpis column link you will get the description of the registry.
This is how the browsing window looks like. You can scroll through the pages in the left part of screen, type the number of the page in small window above the thumbnails.
When you scroll down the page you will get to the registry description - there are details about different sections of the registry, about localities included etc. Unfortunately - all in Czech.
The best way how to get back to the list of registries you have searched for is to click on Matriky link above the browsing window. It will give you the last search results.
If you use indexes, you may notice, that they sometimes refer to numbers or letters of books that don't match the blue ones on the left side of the list. In this case see the right column where they keep information about the old name of the book - like highlighted 17 in this case. Sometimes they use also Roman numerals.
Good luck in your research!