The Elgin Country Archives and Museum has used DB/TextWorks to manage their collections for many years, and has long made them searchable online using software from Andornot. They were one of our first clients to rebuild their online search using a responsive web interface that adapts to users screen sizes, from desktop down to mobile.
Now, they've rebuilt their online presence using our Andornot Discovery Interface, to provide the best possible search experience for their community.
The new site is available at https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca and features not only the holdings of the main Elgin County Archives and Museum, but also those of nine other museums physically located within Elgin County, but operating independently. This one-stop search gives the local community excellent access to local history resources.
Of almost 300,000 records available in https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca, over half feature digital media immediately available online. These are primarily photographs of local people, places and artifacts, but also audio and video recordings, digitized newspapers, other PDFs and, new to this site, very high resolution fire insurance maps. These maps are made very accessible in the site with a zoom feature that allows users to smoothly zoom in to a high level of detail on small areas of the map.
Many hundreds of historic newspapers were recently digitized and are full-text searchable, then viewable either with search words highlighted, or in a flipbook style viewer with animated page turns. These newspapers are listed and specially searchable at https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca/findingaid/newspapers
When searching, features such as spelling corrections and search suggestions, relevancy-ranked results, and facets such as name, place, date, material type and more help user to quickly locate items of interest. Items may be shared on social media, saved and bookmarked, or easily submitted to the museum and archives to request more information, or order photographic reprints.
https://heritagecollections.elgin.ca also features the Disqus commenting system, which allows the local community to engage with other members and museum and archives staff, helping to identify people or places in photographs, correct errors, and discuss the rich history of Elgin county.
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