In this paper, we propose the use of narrative archetypes for supporting the creation of effective exploratory search tools for archives. For example, a path can be created through items that display characters of the same story, or the same story events. By embedding the archetypes in a semantic sys- tem for archive navigation, we tested their effectiveness with users, and collected the users’ preferences about the use of the system. Participants belonged to two different groups: pro- fessional users (editors, journalists, etc.) and causal users. A small focus group was conducted with professional users. The results show a good acceptance of the approach, with higher scores by professional users.