Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Now Offering a Single Search Across Multiple Data Sources

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, August 26, 2014 1:19 PM

The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (www.cjhn.ca) contains over one hundred thousands archival and genealogical records about Jewish history in Canada. The website is now powered by the latest version of the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI), providing an updated search with facets, spell checking and a host of new features.  

The CJHN site is hosted by Andornot and first launched in 2011, using the Umbraco content management system for static content and Inmagic WebPublisher PRO for database searching. Two separate databases were maintained: one for archival records and the other for genealogical. The records are contributed by a number of Jewish archives across the country, from many different source systems, including DB/TextWorks, FileMaker, and Archilog.

About a year later, a mobile-friendly view of the site and search features was added, along with an early version of our Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI), to provide a simple search across the two separate databases.  This was an improvement, but meant that users had to contend with two different search syntaxes and separate selection carts.  After several months of planning and development, the early version of AnDI was recently upgraded. AnDI is now the only search engine on the site, searching all archival and genealogical records. 

Records are available from six different repositories and include many digitized photographs and historic documents, and an increasing number of videos. Search options allow users to easily narrow their results to just these types of records if they wish. An advanced search page also allows users to limit their searches by repository, material type, and other parameters, or to Browse A-Z indexes of Names, Places, Subjects and Collections. The Image Galleries and fonds inventories have all been upgraded to use the new search system.

The updated selection feature allows users to save records and then create a PDF, email them to a colleague, or request more information from the archives.  A hierarchical display shows the archival records in context and there is a link to view related records based on indexing terms. Permalinks facilitate the indexing of individual records by Google and other search engines, thus providing additional access points to the collection.  

We are delighted to have been able to continue to work with CJHN on improvements to their site and to see the network continue to flourish. As AnDI is a search layer, minimal changes were required to staff workflow in each of the repositories.   

Janice Rosen (CJHN coordinator and director of the Canadian Jewish Congress CC National Archives) notes: "The more I explore the potential of our new interface, the more I marvel at what it can do. Being able to search for very specific areas of interest has benefited our staff as well as our clientele, and the site partners can now create display galleries with minimal effort."

If you have an existing system that works well behind the scenes, but doesn’t have all the features that users expect in a modern search engine, contact us to see how AnDI could provide an enhanced interface to your collections.

Earlier Blog Posts About CJHN

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Launches

Canadian Jewish Heritage Network Launches Enhanced Search and Mobile Interface

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