Galt Museum and Archives Artifacts Collection Now Searchable Online

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, January 22, 2014 8:13 AM

The Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge, Alberta, uses Inmagic DB/TextWorks, WebPublisher PRO and the Andornot Starter Kit to manage its archival, museum and library collections. The archival and library collections have been searchable through the Galt website for sometime, and recently, the museum artifacts collection was added as well.

The latest addition, the artifacts collection, contains records for over 12,000 items collected over the past 50 years, reflecting the culture and history of Lethbridge and southwestern Alberta. Photographs are available online for about 10% of the collection right now, but more are being added all the time.

Collections Technician Kevin MacLean and his small team of assistants, interns and volunteers take care to go beyond the physical acquisition of an artifact: they also collect the stories of the people it belonged to and its significance to them. Now, these artifacts and related stories are accessible beyond the walls of the museum, a goal the Galt staff have finally realized with this project.

The three search sites share a common look and feel, with colour-coding to match sections of the website.

Canned queries guide users to popular topics, while quick and advanced search screens, with browsable indexes, allow them to find relevant results.

Search results are displayed in a functional, easy to view layout with simple navigation through records and back to search pages.

A selection list allows users to save records as they browse, then email, save or print the list, as well as request more information on the items from Galt staff.

On the server, each time an image is requested for display in search results, the Andornot Image Handler dynamically generates a thumbnail or enlargement, on-the-fly, from the master image. This saves time over manually creating each needed size.

Contact us for help making your artifact collection searchable using the Andornot Starter Kit for Inmagic software, or other search systems.

Tips for Configuring Presto for DB/TextWorks

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, January 02, 2014 2:02 PM

Inmagic provides extensive documentation for Presto for DB/TextWorks, so there's lots to guide you through installation and configuration. The Administrator's Guide and User's Guide, both available in the Presto Knowledgebase, will walk you through almost everything. However, there's always more to learn.

The tips below are just a few of the best practices we follow when setting up Presto for DB/TextWorks, ones that make setting up your first textbase even easier. They're fairly technical and are intended to be used in conjunction with the Presto Administrator's Guide and User's Guide, as you are working through set-up. Contact us for more help with your own installation, or for a bigger-picture understanding of the Presto for DB/TextWorks system. 

Textbase AutoNumber and AutoDate Fields

Before starting, be sure your textbase includes AutoNumber and AutoDate fields, and that the log is correctly configured with the unique ID field. Presto needs these to correctly import records. If these don't exist, create them as new fields in your textbase, then export and re-import all your records to populate them (note: this is a bit of a simplification, but the concept will work).

Omit Unnecessary Fields

Any fields that you import to Presto from your DB/TextWorks textbase will appear in all the views and screens created by default, as well as in the sort options in the search results. If you have quite a few fields that are for your use only, but not for end users, the best thing to do is remove them from the textbase connector when you are first creating it, so they're not included in the definition. This will save you removing them from all the created screens.

Give Fields Meaningful Names

By default, the field labels that appear in Presto will take the name of the field from the textbase. If your field names are cryptic (e.g. AU for Author), or simply without spaces (a best practice in database design), you'll want to configure the fields in Presto with more readable labels. The label is one of the many settings you can configure for each individual field, along with hit highlighting, faceting, data types, and more. We recommend reviewing each field individually and adjusting settings before saving the textbase connector.

Create Browsing Indexes

If you want to allow users to browse terms in a field on a search screen (e.g. browse Authors, Subjects, etc.) to help them create a search, that field must have a validation list in the textbase, and then be set up to have a Value List in Presto (as well as a Crawl Job to keep them synchronized). It's best to do this when you first configure a textbase import into Presto (if you forget and need to do it later, it's a bit more complicated).

The browsable Value Lists in Presto are more like a validation list and less like an index, in that they show not terms from records, but terms from the validation list in DB/TextWorks. As a result, you'll want to make sure your validation lists are clean so that users only see terms that will result in hits when these Browse lists are used in searches.

Import Dates

If your textbase contains dates (e.g. Publication Date in a library catalogue), you'll likely want them to be imported as Permissive Date type, which is done by NOT ticking them on the Review Date Fields tab when creating the new content type. 

Make URLs Clickable

Be sure to change fields containing URLs to Data Type URL in Presto so that they appear as clickable links in search results. It's important to do this before starting to import data, as the Data Type can't be changed once there's data in this field in Presto. See below for a tip about deleting data from Presto.

Import PDFs

If your  textbase contains links to PDFs and other documents, select the File data type for the field containing the file name (not the LinkedFile data type) when configuring the textbase connector. Presto will import the PDF into its database and make the text searchable, then display a link to the PDF and an image of the first page in search results.

You'll need to make sure that the file name is well formed in the field in the textbase. Our recommendation is to avoid spaces anywhere in the path and file name, and to provide the full UNC path in the field (e.g. \\SERVER-NAME\path-to-docs\some-doc.pdf).  You may want to run the File Existence Checker first (available in DB/TextWorks under the Tools menu.)

Be sure to grant Read permission on the folders containing linked documents to the account used to run the Inmagic Presto Service. 

Show Google Book Covers

You can use some javascript developed by Andornot to look up an ISBN from a record in the Google Books API and display a book cover image, if available. See this blog post for details.

Delete All Imported Records

If you have configured Presto and started the regular data imports, then want to make some changes and find that you can't (especially to Data Types and other field attributes), you can delete all of the imported data, and should then be able to make the change. First, stop the scheduled imports so that no new data comes in while you're making the change. Then, use the ContentLoader.exe command line app included with Presto to delete all records. See Deleting Records in the User's Guide (not the Administrator's Guide). Note that you may need to omit the /Monitor switch to help the command execute. 

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