Small scale GLAM initiatives – single search across archives, museum and library data.
At Andornot we are often asked to speak to classes of students at various university library and archives programs. Last week I was invited to UBC to give a presentation on heritage convergence and GLAM projects to an Archives for Librarians class. Many GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) initiatives are focused on large, complex collaborations but I wanted to share our successes with many smaller scale implementations.
These projects generally result in a new or updated website that allows users to perform a Google like single search across a mixture of content from various sources, either related to a particular topic or a particular location. Some examples of these integrated searches include:
Local history resources focus:
- Heritage Burnaby (multiple archives, heritage, museum artifacts and library databases, city documents, digitized books).(Project info)
- Galt Museum (archives, library and museum databases). (Project info)
- Bulkley Valley Museum (archives and museum database).(Project info)
- Arnprior & McNab/Braeside Archives (archives database, city bylaws, digitized newspapers, BMD registers) (Project info)
- Ontario Jewish Archives(multiple archives databases, landmarks database, directories, virtual exhibits and the OJA website. (Project info)
Topic based resources focus:
- Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives (multiple archives, library and artifact databases). (Project info)
- California State Railroad Museum (multiple archives, library and artifact databases). (Project info)
- Anglican Church of Canada (multiple archives and library databases, official statements, press releases). (Project info)
- Canadian Jewish Heritage Network (archives and genealogical databases from seven different organizations). (Project info)
All too often we find that clients are reluctant to explore possibilities for fear that it will be too expensive or too time consuming. However we can guide you through the process and for many projects, can get a new search interface up and running for you in just a few days. Data is exported from whatever local systems you use for administrative control of your records so there is minimal impact on your normal business processes or workflow. (A project usually spans 2 to 3 months in total, to allow time for discussions, design, and a couple of rounds of feedback.)
We always remind clients that “It’s not about you” and the need to design a site that is geared to the search competencies and requirements of their end users. This may mean agreeing on plain language terminology, minimizing acronyms and technical terms.
Feedback indicates that these multiple content sites have proved very popular. Users love the single search interface and the integrated results lists. We’ve heard that even staff who thought they knew their collections have been surprised to find documents they did not realize existed as they were in an unexpected database. The modern look and functionality of these sites have helped boost the image of the organizations, and provided opportunities for enhanced community involvement through the social sharing, feedback and commenting features.
Take a look through some of these sites and then contact us to see how we can help you!