Manitoba Law Library Launches New Catalogue, including Collection of Historic Judgments

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, October 11, 2018 8:56 AM

The Manitoba Law Library has launched a new online catalogue featuring not only their print and electronic library resources, but a collection of over 17,500 judgments from Manitoba courts spanning 1970 to 1998. 

The new site is available at https://catalog.lawlibrary.ca and is powered by our Andornot Discovery Interface on top of Inmagic DB/TextWorks databases.

While Manitoba judgments made since 1998 are already available digitally in CANLII, the historic judgments in this collection were not previously available online or in any electronic form. Law Library staff scanned print copies of these judgments, then turned to Andornot to create a search engine for the collection.

"The Great Library has long been known to have this "secret" database of unreported judgments. Our goal was to make this collection available to everyone who wanted it, and to be able to retrieve it themselves."

-- Karen Sawatzky, Director of Legal Resources, Manitoba Law Library Inc.

Andornot created a DB/TextWorks database of judgment records out of a combination of a spreadsheet of metadata, listings of the scanned judgment PDF files on disk, and custom programming to extract additional metadata, such as Court Name, from acronyms in an Accession Number.

As the scanned print copies had not yet been OCRd to convert the images to text, we ran a process to do so for all 17,500 files. This allows the full text of the judgment to be indexed and made searchable in the new site.

This Judgments database, along with a library catalogue database also now managed with DB/TextWorks, is indexed in the https://catalog.lawlibrary.ca site.

This new site offers users the features they expect from library catalogues and all search engines: spelling corrections, "did you mean" search suggestions, relevancy ranked results powered by sophisticated algorithms, and facets such as subject, name, date and type of material to quickly and easily refine a search. When searching the historic judgments, users can also refine their search by Court.

If any search words were found in the full text of a judgment, a snippet of the relevant passage showing the words in context is display in search results. The user may then click a single button to open the judgment in their browser, showing the original scanned document, but with their search words pre-highlighted, where ever they may appear in the document. This feature saves the user from having to download, open and search all over again within the PDF for the relevant passage.

"We wanted to make it easier for our users to find material, whether it is an e-book, a print book, or a report, as well as upgrade the look and feel of our catalog. This system also allows us to create useful reports that help us demonstrate the value of our collection."

-- Karen Sawatzky

Contact Andornot for information management and search solutions for your legal or unique collections.

Andornot's October 2018 Newsletter Available: News, Tips and Tricks for Libraries, Archives and Museums

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, October 09, 2018 8:41 AM

Andornot's October 2018 Newsletter has been emailed to subscribers and is available to read on our website, with news, tips and tricks for libraries, archives and museums.

In This Issue

Tags: newsletters

Grants with Fall 2018 Application Deadlines

by Jonathan Jacobsen Friday, October 05, 2018 12:17 PM

Many annual funding programs have deadlines in the Fall, and many of these can help fund new search engines, new collection management software, and other projects Andornot can help you with.

Contact us to discuss ideas and obtain quotes for your grant application.

British Columbia Arts Council's Professional Project Assistance for Museums and Visual Arts Organizations

The British Columbia Arts Council's Professional Project Assistance for Museums and Visual Arts Organizations supports initiatives in the development of new or unique public programs and documentation by professional museums, Aboriginal cultural centres and visual arts organizations, including artists’ and curatorial collectives. These may include exhibitions, dissemination projects, artists’ residencies, exploration of new forms, audience development or collections management projects.

The maximum contribution to a project in this program is 50% of the total budget of the project.

This grant could be used to upgrade your systems and databases, whether using Inmagic DB/TextWorks or other software, and providing public search access through the Andornot Discovery Interface, as well as virtual exhibits using the Omeka and Umbraco content management systems.

Deadline: October 15, 2018

Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program

The Department of Canadian Heritage Museums Assistance Program (MAP) supports heritage institutions and workers in the preservation and presentation of heritage collections. In particular, the Collections Management component provides up to $50,000 for "projects related to the implementation or upgrade of a collections management system." This could include software such as Inmagic DB/TextWorks and one of Andornot's database starter kits, or our Digital History Hub platform or Andornot Discovery Interface search engine.

Deadline: November 1, 2018

BC History Digitization Program

The British Columbia History Digitization Program at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia Library promotes increased access to British Columbia’s historical resources by providing matching funds to undertake digitization projects that will result in free online access to unique historical material from around the province.

Materials digitized through this program could be made searchable through the Andornot Discovery Interface or our Digital History Hub platform.

Applications for 2019 are expected to open in October, so keep an eye on https://ikblc.ubc.ca/initiatives/bcdigitinfo/ and in the meantime, have a look at last year's successful applications.

Andornot Professional Development Grant

For the past few years we've offered a $1,000 grant to help one of you attend a conference or other professional development event. We intend to offer this grant again this year and will be opening applications up towards the end of the year. Stay tuned to our blog for an announcement, and in the meantime, read about the experience of past recipients Gayle Graham and Mark Goodwin.

Tags: funding

Galt Museum and Archives Launches New Collections Search

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, October 04, 2018 9:43 AM

The Galt Museum and Archives in Lethbridge, Alberta has launched a new search engine for their cultural collections at https://collections.galtmuseum.com 

This new site is powered by our Andornot Discovery Interface. This modern search engine provides features that users have come to expect, including spelling corrections, "did you mean" search suggestions, results ranked by relevancy, and facets to help narrow down the results further, such as by name, topic and date.

Previously, users were only able to search the archives, museum artifacts and library collections through three separate searches. Now, with the Andornot Discovery Interface, researchers can search all materials at once and discover related records quickly and easily. Over eighty percent of the resources in the site include photographs, especially of artifacts in the museum, making for a visually engaging experience researching the history of Lethbridge and surrounding area.

Once results are found, a user can save them for later review, share them on Pinterest, Google+ and other social media, or request more information from the museum and archives.

The graphic design of the site was adapted from the fonts, colours and layout of the main museum website, for a seamless transition between the two. The bright colours add to the fun factor when using the site, without detracting from the resources and the many historic photos in search results.

Like many museums and archives, the Galt has for many years managed their collections with Inmagic software. A series of DB/TextWorks databases continue to be home to metadata about the archives, museum artifacts, and a small library. The museum is running the latest version, so has access to many new features, but still within the familiar and easy-to-use interface they are used to.

"This is a big step forward in terms of both appeal and usability, and the integrated search -- across archives, collections and library databases -- is the feature that we long wished for."

Andrew Chernevych
Archivist, Galt Museum & Archives

Contact Andornot to discuss options for better management and searching of your cultural collections.

10 Ideas to Improve your Web Presence and Help Your Users Find You

by Jonathan Jacobsen Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:40 AM

As the air gets crisper and precipitation drives us indoors, Fall is a great time to reflect and to find energy for new projects and adventures.

Have you thought about the web presence your museum, archive or library collection has? Are you providing users with modern tools to help them research your records and share them with others. Here are 10 ideas to read on a blustery Fall day, and that could add some sparkle to your website and online collections.

  1. Upgrade to a more modern search engine, such as our Andornot Discovery Interface, with features users expect when searching. For example, see how we helped Forestry Innovation Investment with their ThinkWood Research Library.
  2. Add ever more historic content to attract users interested in local history and genealogy, like the Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives did with back issues of the Arnprior Chronicle newspaper.
  3. Add a map interface so users can browse geographically, like the one we built for the Ontario Jewish Archives.
  4. Have lots of documents? Why not index the full text of them, then when a user searches for keywords, take them directly to the most relevant page in the PDF. No more downloading and repeating the search within the PDF to find the right page. Learn more.
  5. Get out in front of Community Engagement by adding the Disqus commenting system to your search results, so users can more easily discuss items in your collection, help identify people and places, and provide feedback to you.
  6. Make sure your website or search engine is mobile friendly. Google and other search engines now place mobile-friendly results higher in their rankings. And make sure you have a sitemap and permalinks so your collection can be easily indexed by Google and Bing.
  7. Planning to digitize large works, such as maps, paintings, or architectural drawings? Will users be able to see the fine detail in the resulting images on your website or in your search engine? Our Image Zoomer can help, by allowing users to easily zoom in on specific areas of a large image, without having to download that very large file.
  8. Is your website looking dated? Maybe it has the digital equivalent of large shoulder pads or flared pants? Time for a refresh? Let us help with a Content Management System and new graphic design, like we did recently for PRCVI (the BC Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired).
  9. Can't attract the attention of your own IT staff to help with your website or software? Why not have Andornot host it?
  10. On a tight budget? Consider our low-cost Digital History Hub platform for putting collections online and making virtual exhibits.

Contact us to discuss any of these ideas, and ones of your own.

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