Heritage Burnaby adds digitized oral histories.

by Kathy Bryce Monday, November 21, 2011 4:49 PM

Andornot has recently completed several exciting upgrades to the Heritage Burnaby website. The Archives received funding to digitize and create a web search interface to audio interviews on cassettes or reel to reel tapes from the last fifty years.  These interviews give an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Burnaby pioneers, and cover a wide range of subjects.  One of the common themes is the struggles that the Municipality and Burnaby families faced during the 1930s when the City went into receivership and unemployment was widespread.

As an interview could be more than an hour long, each was split into 5-10 minute tracks.  Behind the scenes Inmagic TextWorks databases HeritageBurnabyOralHistoryScreenshotwere established to capture information on the Master recording with metadata including the interviewee, date interviewed, interviewer and detailed biographical notes.  An image file showing either the interviewee or a relevant image such as the location or house discussed in the interview was also added.  Each track was then described individually and associated with the master record. Information includes the scope and content of each track, the date range, the subjects discussed and the historical neighbourhood. 

The new web interface allows users to search for any word or phrase across the descriptive fields, or by interviewee, subject or neighbourhood.  There is also an option to browse a listing of all the interviews.

Just adding a link for a user to click and then download an audio file was not an option.  Most users do not want to wait for a track to download, and they may not have an installed media player that supports the audio format.   Playback therefore relies on jPlayer, an open source HTML5 audio/video library which intelligently falls back to Adobe Flash when necessary to provide a consistent interface in all browsers.

“We are thrilled with the flexible and user-friendly interface that has allowed us to make these records publicly accessible for the first time.  By also adding the oral history database to the OneSearch feature on our site, researchers have the ability to find all related records, regardless of medium or format.  This will be an extremely useful tool for our users.”   [Arilea Sill, City Archivist]

Check out last week’s article in the Burnaby NewsLeader - Oral histories online provide fascinating look at Burnaby history or contact us for further information.

Archives Association of BC launches new website

by Kathy Bryce Friday, November 18, 2011 9:38 AM

The AABC website has re-launched with a new design in honour of Archives Week 2011 and the second anniversary of Memorybc.ca.  This project was made possible through NADP funding from Heritage Canada, Library & Archives Canada, and the Canadian Council of Archives. Through an RFP process, the AABC executive selected Andornot to design the new site and migrate the current content.

As part of the mandate of the project, the design incorporates elements of the Memory BC look and feel, with the use of the same header image and colors.  The AABC logo was also updated to a more modern style.   The structure of the site was re-organized to group pages under 5 main headings and all the content was migrated and reformatted.   Older newsletters were converted into PDF’s rather than trying to retain over 900 HTML pages and images.
 
PreviousAABCWebsite
Old site
  AABC.CA_website
New Site

Behind the scenes the site uses the open source Umbraco content management system and is hosted by Andornot.  Individual members of the executive and volunteers now have rights to edit specific sections or pages, and to upload documents into a Media Library.  The WYSIWYG content editor allows them to easily type in content, or to copy and paste from other programs. No knowledge of HTML is required as stylesheets control the formatting. 

The home page is now automatically populated by recent entries from a news blog with an RSS feed.  The same approach has been used for positions listed on the Job Board. Umbraco offers a Publish /Unpublish date feature so jobs can automatically be set to disappear after the closing date. 

Redesigning and migrating a site with so much content created over many years presented some challenges, and we are very grateful for the responsiveness of the AABC executive to our suggestions and recommendations.

“Our site needed updating for many years. The new site is much more user-friendly and is very easy to edit. Information is easier to find for our members and users, and will allow more control and diverse functionality for the AABC executive and contractors. We really like our new logo and how much the overall look and feel matches MemoryBC.ca.  Andornot’s knowledge of the BC archival community helped to make this project run smoothly.”  Jane Morrison, AABC President.

Please contact Andornot for more information.

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