Société historique de Saint-Boniface Upgrades Archives Search Interface

by Jonathan Jacobsen Sunday, April 24, 2016 8:37 PM

The Centre du patrimoine (Heritage Centre) of the Société historique de Saint-Boniface is an archive and research facility dedicated to the preservation, study, dissemination and development of Francophone and Metis history in Manitoba and Western Canada. The Heritage Centre holds more than 500 archival fonds documenting every facet of life from culture to commerce, education to politics and religion to the economy.

In 2010-2011, Andornot helped the Heritage Centre to upgrade their DB/TextWorks-based collection management system, and publish the data online using our Andornot Starter Kit. This also included a collection of 35,000 records of contracts between fur traders (Voyageurs) and companies engaged in the fur trade in Canada between 1700 and ca. 1822.

This year, thanks to a grant from the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program, the Heritage Centre was able to upgrade this web search interface to one powered by the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI). The site is hosted by Andornot at http://archivesshsb.mb.ca

AnDI offers features not available in the previous site, such as the ability to search the museum, library and Voyageurs collections together, a more advanced search engine, spelling corrections and search suggestions, and facets to help users narrow their search.

The interface is designed for both desktop and mobile devices. There are features that help users view enlarged images, and to play back video recordings without leaving the site. 

New to the site in this upgrade are large high-resolution scans of architectural drawings. Even on large screens with an image at full-width, it can be hard to see small details in an architectural drawing, so Andornot implemented an image zooming feature that allows users to see both the whole drawing and enlargements of selected portions without having to download a very large image file.

Other useful features include an RSS feed of newly-added records, and a selection list that allows users to save, email or print records, or request more information on them from the Heritage Centre.

"The results are just fantastic and the transition was practically seamless."

-- Gilles Lesage, Directeur general, Centre du patrimoine

Contact Andornot to discuss a similar project for your museum or archives.

Bulkley Valley Museum Collection Now Online

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, April 11, 2016 9:25 AM

Since 1967, the Bulkley Valley Museum has built up a permanent collection of artifacts and documentary heritage materials that represent the human and natural history of the Town of Smithers, British Columbia, and the surrounding Bulkley Valley. This collection is now available online for the first time at http://search.bvmuseum.com

Andornot initially helped the museum to upgrade their DB/TextWorks-based collection management system, using our Andornot Starter Kits for archives and museum artifacts. We then used the Andornot Discovery Interface to build and host the site.

The search engine contains records for over 8,000 of the museum's archival and museum holdings, including 5,000 digitized historic photographs. Highlights of the collection include information on:

  • area railroads and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway;
  • fossils, rocks and minerals and the natural history of the area;
  • telegraphs;
  • farming and agriculture; and
  • records from Smithers, Telkwa, Moricetown and Hazelton towns.

On the site, users can share their favourite items to Facebook and Twitter, and generate PDFs or print lists of items they are interested in. 

Users can also provide feedback to the museum via email on specific photographs and records. This form of crowd-sourcing will help identify people whose names have been lost to history, and even with hours of the website launch, was proving popular.

"Our new website is part of the Museum's ongoing efforts to make its collections more accessible to our local communities, enabling users from anywhere in the Bulkley Valley, or anywhere in the world, to learn about our local history. 

We are 30-60 minutes away from some of the communities we serve and collect from, so having our collections online is really going have an impact on access to history for local researchers and for use in the classroom by students."

- Kira Westby, Curator, Bulkley Valley Museum

The Bulkley Valley Museum was one of several recipients of the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program, which provides grants to select organizations for projects such as this. They join a growing list of Andornot clients who have selected the Andornot Discovery Interface to make their collections searchable online.

Contact Andornot to discuss a similar project for your museum or archives.

Ottawa Jewish Archives Collections Now Searchable Through CJHN.ca

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, April 06, 2016 10:45 AM

The Ottawa Jewish Archives joins a growing list of Jewish archives across the country whose collections are searchable online through the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network website: http://www.cjhn.ca

Established in 1969, the Ottawa Jewish Archives strives to maintain the collective memory of the Jewish Community of Ottawa by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible holdings which document the history, growth, and development of the Jewish community within Ottawa and the National Capital Region. 

With an archival collection that tells the story of community life in Ottawa from the 1890’s to the current day, the Archives contains a wide range of records relating to individuals and families, community organizations and events, congregations, and businesses. 

This is the first time that the holdings of the Ottawa Jewish Archives have been accessible online in the Archive’s 47 year history. 

"This is a major achievement for the Archives. Through modernization of access to our collections and advancement of our digital agenda, we can make the remote accessible and the hard to see visible. This project enables the Archives to more effectively meet user expectations, encourage discovery of our collections, and better deliver archives services." 

– Saara Mortensen, Archivist, Ottawa Jewish Archives. 

"This addition brings the archival holdings of a third Canadian province into the network; the Ottawa Jewish Archives being the first archive from Ontario to add information about its collections to our shared database." 

– Janice Rosen, Archives Director, Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives. 

(l-r) CJHN founding partners Janice Rosen and Shannon Hodge, with Ottawa Jewish Archives archivist Saara Mortensen.

Andornot helped the Ottawa Jewish Archives with adjustments to their DB/TextWorks-based archival records system. Andornot developed and hosts the CJHN.ca site based on our Andornot Discovery Interface search engine.

The Ottawa Jewish Archives was one of several recipients of the Library and Archives Canada Documentary Heritage Communities Program, which provides grants to select organizations for projects such as this.

Contact Andornot to discuss projects similar to this for your organization.

Heritage Burnaby Website Wins Heritage BC Award

by Kathy Bryce Wednesday, March 02, 2016 2:23 PM

The City of Burnaby’s Heritage Burnaby website (www.heritageburnaby.ca) has won one of Heritage BC’s 35th Anniversary awards. Heritage Burnaby won in the category of Heritage Education & Awareness for the upgrades in 2015 to the Heritage Burnaby website and search engine.

This site was initially developed by Andornot in 2008, then upgraded in 2015 to use the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI), Instead of having to search each collection separately, users canHeritageBurnabyResultScreen now type in a keyword and instantly see a combined listing of results from the collections of the City of Burnaby Archives, the Burnaby Village Museum, the Office of the City Clerk and Burnaby Heritage Planning. Searches can be narrowed down through facets for repository, type, date, subject, person, place etc. A good example showing the diversity of material is a search on “carousel” which is one of Burnaby’s heritage landmark buildings. This retrieves nearly 150 records with photos, sound recordings from the Archives oral history collection, books from the Museum library, and documents submitted to council, as well as the artifact records.

The new search interface is also now more forgiving, with automatic spelling corrections and “did “you mean” search suggestions which are very helpful for proper names and places where the user may be unsure of the correct spelling.

As part of this project several publications on the history of Burnaby were digitized and made full text searchable. A couple of these were indexed at the book chapter level to allow zeroing in to specific pages. These are viewable online with search words highlighted. Museum staff have reported that they are now “finding many wonderful connections between photos, records, landmarks, artifacts, and library resources” that were not apparent before. (Lisa Codd, Curator)

The update also included development of a new website with content managed in an Umbraco CMSallowing staff to add blog posts and update content easily. The research page provides more information on the types of materials included, and allows users to search only specific collections, or select neighbourhoods on a map, to see all resources from specific areas. The new website design is responsive to provide a mobile friendly interface, and includes features for streaming audio and video files. Behind the scenes, records are maintained in multiple Inmagic DB/TextWorks databases and extracted and indexed by AnDI when approved for public access.

Everything you wanted to know about Burnaby is at your fingertips,” as a result of this new upgrade! Please contact Andornot if you’d like to discuss options for updating your search interface or combining a search of multiple types of materials into one combined search.

King Institute at Stanford University Upgrades DB/TextWorks Archival Solution

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, January 20, 2016 8:44 AM

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute at Stanford Universityuses DB/TextWorks to manage an archival database of tens of thousands of speeches, sermons, letters, and other documents by and about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Known as OKRA (Online King Records Access), the database includes descriptive information as well as holdings details for these resources held at repositories all over the United States. Digitized audio and video recording are also available.

A web-based data entry system had been developed many years ago, using Inmagic WebPublisher PRO. However, advances in web technologies had resulted in problems with this interface. A decision was made to replace it with a purely DB/TextWorks-based solution.

Andornot upgraded the query screens, reports and data entry forms in the main database to ones based on our Andornot Starter Kit, for improved usability. Script-buttons were included to assist with searching and editing records, and scripts and other validation was added to the data entry forms to aid in looking up information in other databases, and to restrict some user groups' access the database. Secondary databases were converted to thesauri so that they could be used as validation lists, but with multiple selections possible in a field and record in the main database.

Online search access using Inmagic WebPublisher PRO remains available at http://okra.stanford.edu though this interface may also be upgraded in the near future.

Please contact Andornot for assistance with your Inmagic-based databases, and similar projects.

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