Heritage BC Award for Burnaby oral history project

by Kathy Bryce Monday, October 29, 2012 10:44 AM

We are delighted to share that at the Heritage BC Annual Awards ceremony on October 19th, 2012 Heritage Burnaby was presented with an Award of Honour for the 2011 Burnaby Oral History Project.

“These awards, presented annually, acknowledge important contributions and exceptional efforts to increase awareness of and support for heritage resources.  This honour was given to the City of Burnaby in recognition of the work that had been done at the City Archives to digitize the Burnaby Oral History Collection.  Approximately 40 interviews of long-time Burnaby residents were digitized and can now be heard online, thanks in large part to the new oral history databases developed by Andornot.  The new databases allow the interviews to be indexed, uploaded, searched and streamed online for the first time.  In addition, with the infrastructure now in place, new interviews are being collected with more and more Burnaby stories being captured and preserved for the benefit of all our citizens – current and future. 

The ongoing relationship we enjoy with Andornot continues to promote innovative and inspiring projects such as the oral history program, and we look forward to building on this success in the years to come.”  [Arilea Sill, City Archivist.]

More information on the oral history project can be found in our blog post or take a look at the web interface to the the database.

West Vancouver Archives Gives Search Website a “Tune-Up”

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, August 08, 2012 11:00 AM

The West Vancouver Archives has been using Inmagic DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher PRO to manage their archival collections and provide public search access for many years.

WestVan8Aug2012With a grant this year from the BC History Digitization Program, the archives was able to have Andornot give the search website a “tune-up”, adding some new features and improving some existing ones.

  • We added Google Analytics and enabled WebPublisher PRO query logging to help obtain a picture of how users interact with the website and what they search for.
  • We added permalinks and an AddThis “Share” button to allow users to more easily bookmark and share information found by their searches.
  • We added a simple “Email us a comment about this record” link to allow users to provide feedback, corrections and other information on records.
  • We added the Andornot selection list application so that users can add items to a temporary list as they search, then email, save or print the list, as well as submit a request to the archives for more information. (This feature can also be extended to allow ordering of photographic reprints, for example).
  • We tidied up some of the search and results pages to make searching easier and results clearer to view and navigate.

“I’m very pleased we were able to add these features within the budget I had available,” says Shaunna Moore, Archivist at the West Vancouver Archives. “I immediately had requests for particular records, and comments from users who provided additional information about our materials. The new functionality has improved our understanding of how our website is being used and streamlined our interactions with researchers.”

You can try out the new features here.

Contact us to discuss a tune-up for your website.

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Launches Enhanced Search and Mobile Interface

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, June 25, 2012 5:15 PM

In June 2011, Andornot helped launch a new website and database for the Canadian Jewish Heritage Network. This site uses the Umbraco CMS to provide information on Canadian Jewish history, and includes two databases of archival and genealogical information, powered by Inmagic WebPublisher PRO and DB/TextWorks.

This June we’ve helped upgrade the site with two new features: an enhanced, multi-database search, and a mobile interface.

Enhanced, Multi-Database Search

The enhanced search is available on the Explore page and uses the Apache Solr search engine to index and search the two separate Inmagic databases (which remain available on the site). Results from both databases are integrated and sorted by relevance, using the sophisticated algorithms in Solr to present the best matches to the user. This feature is particularly useful to genealogical researchers as a “Did you mean” capability can alert them to misspellings or name variations. For example:

CJHN OneSearch

Mobile Interface

IMG_0467To access the mobile interface, simply open www.cjhn.ca in your mobile browser. You’ll be automatically redirected to the mobile view, with all the same content as the full site, but formatted to fit the smaller view of a mobile device.

The mobile view was created by extending the Umbraco CMS with additional templates and stylesheets. This allows CJHN to write content once, but display it in the format most suitable to the viewer.

Contact Andornot to upgrade your own web application to feature a mobile view or enhanced search options.

St. Andrew’s College Photographs, Yearbooks and Alumni Magazines Online

by Jonathan Jacobsen Monday, May 28, 2012 2:10 PM

St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario recently asked Andornot to help upgrade the presentation of its online archival collections. The collection includes digitized photographs, school yearbooks and alumni magazines dating back to the school’s first years in the 1900s. The upgraded site provides alumni and others with a fascinating journey through the school’s history. Alumni may now browse and search very easily for memories of their time at SAC.

SACAndornot upgraded the SAC archives’ DB/TextWorks database to the latest version of our Archives Starter Kit, upgrading the desktop forms and query screens as well as the web application. Some highlights of the new website include:

  • Social bookmarking and permalinks allow users to share records with friends via email, Facebook, Twitter and other online services.
  • Results may be viewed in a gallery-style grid layout or in a more traditional list, as well as sorted by relevance, title and date.
  • The website features the front cover image of yearbooks and alumni magazines; however, the full contents have been digitized and are hosted by the Internet Archive. Search results provide links to view content in various formats, including PDF and as an online flipbook. See, for example, this record: http://archives.sac.on.ca/permalink/925 and its View Online Flipbook link.
  • The photo commenting feature allows users to identify students and others in photographs. Users can circle individual people or faces in a photograph and provide the name or other comments for that person. Comments are emailed to the school archivist for review and to update records.
  • Thumbnails and enlarged images are generated dynamically from a single master image.
  • The selection list allows users to save or print the list, as well as to mark records of interest to email to themselves or to friends. In the future, users may be able to order reprints of photographs online.
  • The new website layout complements the school website for a seamless transition from one web application to another.

Andornot created many of the archival records from a data conversion: SAC had digitized thousands of photographs, all saved to DVD. Andornot took those image files, extracted identifying information such as name and dates, and used that information to create initial records. This saved considerable time compared with manual database entry for each record. The College archivist will enhance the records further with names and other identifying information, in part from comments received through the photo commenting feature.

Search the archives here.

Contact Andornot to learn about upgrading your school’s online archives or photograph collection to a similar level.

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.

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