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.

Nova Scotia Health Authority Launches Provincial Hospitals Library Catalogue

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:03 PM

The Nova Scotia Health Authority is the latest Andornot client to launch a library catalogue using the Andornot Discovery Interface, available at http://library.nshealth.ca

The site provides patients, the public and health care professionals with a modern, mobile-friendly way to search for health information resources across the province, in physical libraries and online.

The collection includes the holdings of hospital libraries throughout Nova Scotia, including e-books, e-journals, patient education pamphlets, books, and audio-visual materials.

Previously, the library holdings of the former Capital Health Authority in Halifax alone were searchable online. Now, the new tool allows for searching of province-wide library holdings throughout the newly established Nova Scotia Health Authority, as well as the IWK Health Centre, the regional pediatric and maternity hospital in Halifax.

The Andornot Discovery Interface provides the features users expect in a modern search engine, such as spelling corrections and search term suggestions, relevancy-ranked results, and facets such as Subject, Author, Date, Location, Language and more, to quickly narrow a search.

Behind the public face is a DB/TextWorks database of holdings from individual libraries, as well as a separate database containing patient pamphlets The catalogue is managed by a team of library staff who co-ordinate data arriving from other libraries.

Contact Andornot to discuss making your collections available online in a modern way.

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.

The Storebox – an Online Repository of Christian Social Media Usage

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, January 06, 2016 8:48 AM

The Storebox is a digital repository of interesting, illuminating, best practices of new and social media use by Christian communities. The Storebox highlights what Christian communities and leaders (lay and ordained) are doing with digital technologies to share the gospel (as they understand it), to connect communities, and to envision/incarnate "church" in the digital age.

The Storebox

The Storebox is a project of the New Media Project at the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. It contains case studies, collections, and exhibits curated by students at Fordham University, in New York City, under the direction of Professor Kathryn Reklis

Using the open-source Omeka content management and virtual exhibit system, Prof. Reklis and her students have built a diverse collection of examples of Christian usage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, podcasts, blogs, plain old websites and more.

"I'm drawn to Omeka for its cost-effective means of presenting and organizing content and allowing users to interact with the content in meaningful ways. Also, most of the content will be generated by undergraduate college students, and Omeka seems like an excellent choice in this regard as well." – Prof. Reklis

The site is available at http://omeka.cts.edu 

Andornot developed a custom Omeka theme for this project and tailored it for the specific needs of the project and users.

Contact us to discuss Omeka and other systems for curating and managing digital content.

New Search Options for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Library and Archives

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, November 20, 2015 10:30 AM

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania maintains a collection of tens of thousands of resources related to railroading in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The collection is diverse - historical, political, cultural, social, economic, and technological - and emphasizes its development from the 1830s through the present day. Every manner of printed materials is in the collection, from annual reports to timetables, as well as an extensive set of photographs and negatives. A reference library contains books, periodicals, railroad association and union publications, government documents, and trade catalogues.

Public search access has been available for many years through an interface developed by Andornot using our Andornot Starter Kit. However, as with all websites and applications, renewal and refurbishment is necessary every few years, to keep up with technology standards and user expectations. In particular, we noticed that the search logs indicated no records found for many user searches, so we knew that some new features were needed to help users connect to resources.

In 2015, the museum began a project with Andornot to develop a new, modern search engine using the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI). This is now available at http://rrmuseumpa.andornot.com 

"We had two primary objectives – to replace an earlier online catalog search system that was sagging under the growing weight of tens of thousands of new records and images, and to make the system more useful to users who have become accustomed to the more intelligent finding systems currently available in so many places on the web. Andornot delivered admirably on both needs." -- James Alexander, Jr., the museum's webmaster and lead on this project.

Large Collection Needs Advanced Search Features

The new search offers users access to over 270,000 records from both the library and archives databases, which were formerly separate. 80,000 of these records have digitized photographs available online. With such a large data set, advanced search features are needed to help researchers uncover resources of interest to them.

AnDI's Apache Solr search engine excels at indexing large data sets. The more records that are available to it, the better it can analyze words and perform frequency analysis on them, one of the many algorithms it uses to deliver relevant results first.

Key to the search process are the facets that allow researchers to narrow their initial search by many criteria, such as the names of railroads, individuals, corporations and other organizations, subjects, geographic places, and dates.

As with all AnDI sites, users can view brief and full records, view photographs in a gallery layout, save records to a list, share search results on social media, and of course, access the site as easily from a tablet or phone as a desktop web browser.

The small selection of videos included in search results are published through the museum's YouTube channel to expose the museum to the widest possible audience. A YouTube player is embedded in search results for playback within the new site.

AnDI Handles Spelling Variations

As is to be expected with such a large collection, entered over many years by a variety of people, spelling variations and typographic errors have crept in. AnDI helps users locate resources despite this, using two key features:

1. The Apache Solr search engine in AnDI is very, very good at parsing terms from records and suggesting correct terms based on what's in the records and what user's search for. These appear in search results as spelling corrections and "Did you mean?" suggestions, which a user may click to try a different search.

2. A synonym list created by museum staff relates correct terms to some of the many variations that appear. 

For example, the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway appears in around 7,000 records, but with the name Susquehanna spelled at least 11 different ways. Given that searchers may not enter the correct spelling either, the search problem is not trivial! The combination of the synonym list and Solr's other suggestions and corrections helps ensure that no matter how either the data was originally entered, nor how a user searches for it, AnDI can return relevant and complete results.

A video introduction and written search help are both available to introduce users to the site. 

Inmagic DB/TextWorks for Back-End Data Management

Behind the scenes, the museum continues to use Inmagic DB/TextWorks to manage these records. This database management system is invaluable to them in managing metadata, selecting standard metadata from validation lists, and providing access to volunteers for every-day data entry.

The museum's search engine continues to be hosted by Andornot as part of our managed hosting service.

"While Andornot had available a well-built modern search system in AnDI, they spent a lot of time with us learning about our particular users' needs, helping us think through the most useful processes, and refining the search experience. They know the business of both managing records internally and helping users find what they need. 

In the process two things happened – we learned more about the strengths and weaknesses in our data entry processes, and the usefulness and public recognition of our holdings were enhanced through improved web access.  The search help video was a real plus, and they worked with us in making our search page both functional and attractive." – James Alexander, Jr.

We're very pleased to continue our work with the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Contact us to discuss upgrades and search options for your museum collections.

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