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Since 1967, the Bulkley Valley Museum has built up a permanent collection of artifacts and documentary heritage materials that represent the human and natural history of the Town of Smithers, British Columbia, and the surrounding Bulkley Valley.

About 5 years ago, Andornot helped the museum to upgrade their DB/TextWorks-based collection management system, using our Andornot Starter Kits for archives and museum artifacts. We then used the Andornot Discovery Interface (AnDI) to build and host the site.

In 2021, the site was upgraded to the newest version of our Andornot Discovery Interface, with a refreshed graphic design and new features such as:

  • a 'facet explorer' for searching names, topics and places before conducting a search;
  • a large image zooming feature to smoothly zoom in and out of maps and plans, without having to download a large image;
  • a flipbook-style viewer for documents, recreating the experience of paging through a newspaper or magazine;
  • an audio player for oral history recordings, with individual tracks and a description of them available for viewing. This metadata was captured using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer and custom-integrated into the new AnDI site;
  • the Disqus commenting system to encourage discussion of resources in the site, such as to help identify photographs of people whose names have been lost to history; and
  • upgraded Google Analytics tracking (as described in this blog post) to help museum staff better understand their user community, how they use the site and what they are looking for.

Bulkley Valley Museum Collections Online

The new version is available at https://search.bvmuseum.org, hosted by Andornot.

The Bulkley Valley Museum was one of the first adopters of our Andornot Discovery Interface, and we're delighted they are one of the first to make use of these new features too.

Whether you're an existing AnDI user, or interested in it for the first time, check out the many examples of public sites built from it in our Project Portfolio, then contact us to discuss how it could make your collections more accessible.

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.

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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, 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.

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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. 

The Kitimat Museum & Archives has thousands of records on human history artifacts and photographic archival collections unique to the Kitimat Valley and surrounding area, including the Douglas Channel.

These records are managed in DB/TextWorks databases, and now, over 30,000 records are searchable through an instance of our Andornot Discovery Interface, at https://collections.kitimatmuseum.ca

Kitimat Museum and Archives Online Collections

Materials at the Kitimat Museum & Archives document the social history of the Kitimat Valley: Haisla (1880s to present), pioneer (1891-1944), and modern (1949 to present), Alcan’s project construction and subsequent history, records, scrapbooks and newsletters of schools, clubs, societies and construction crews, Al Beaton's cartoon books, photographs and records of missionary activity among the Haisla, Haisla dictionary, Missionary newsletter, and records of the Museum.

Some records from the museum's virtual exhibit system, powered by Omeka, are also included in the AnDI site.

New users may explore the collection using pre-created searches, or may search with keywords and refine their results with facets such as names, places, topics and dates. The sophisticated search algorithms in the Andornot Discovery Interface present the most relevant results first. Users may save results to a list, share results and images on social media, and provide feedback to, or request more information from, the museum.

The site is hosted by Andornot with frequent updates by museum staff.

The Cortes Island Museum & Archives preserves unique and original photographs, maps and documents relating to the human and natural history of Cortes Island, British Columbia, and nearby islands. Dating from the late 1800s to the present, their collections illustrate how this remote community of coastal British Columbia responded to changing economic, social and political conditions.

Thanks to a grant from Libraries and Archives Canada, the museum was able to digitize more than 4,000 historic photographs, catalogue them in a DB/TextWorks database using Andornot's Starter Kit for Archives, and then make them publicly searchable in a new site built from our Andornot Discovery Interface.

Cortes Island Museum and Archives

Available at https://collections.cortesmuseum.com, the rich variety of searchable images depicts island people and places, community events, transportation by steamship and floatplane, and economic activities such as farming, fishing and logging.

New users may explore the collection using pre-created searches, such as:

or may search with keywords and refine their results with facets such as names, places, topics and dates. The sophisticated search algorithms in the Andornot Discovery Interface present the most relevant results first. Users may save results to a list, share results and images on social media, and provide feedback to, or request more information from, the museum.

The site is hosted by Andornot with frequent updates by museum staff.

The LancasterHistory online Research Collections provides searchable access to nearly 300,000 items from their historic collections, from library books and archival documents to photographs and three-dimensional objects.

LancasterHistory is also proud to announce the launch of the James Buchanan Presidential Library, which provides online access, for the first time, to the papers of 15th United States President James Buchanan and his family.

This collection includes  more than 3,500 items associated with James Buchanan, Harriet Lane, and James Buchanan Henry, extended family members, associates, and Wheatland, Buchanan's home. Scholars and researchers can search and view the digitized collection to examine the events that transpired during Buchanan’s presidency and gain a better understanding of how the United States responded to one of the most fraught periods in American history.

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The LancasterHistory Research Collections site is powered by our Andornot Discovery Interface, which provides features such as automatic spelling corrections, intuitive search suggestions, and refinable search filters.

Data in the site is sourced and regularly updated from a variety of back-end systems: PastPerfect for archival descriptions, artifacts and photographs, and MARC records exported from their library’s cataloguing system. Andornot developed systems to transform each different data source into a common format and index it in our Andornot Discovery Interface, for searching across all collections, while still preserving the metadata unique to each record and data source.

The full text of many linked digital documents is indexed, to further expand search options.

Searching across all LancasterHistory collections previously required many separate searches, using different search strategies and tools. Now, with all resources in a single site, searching is faster and easier and reveals more records to users with every search.

As the site is hosted by Andornot, there’s nothing for LancasterHistory staff to do or worry about, and they can add new data as often as they like.

Visit the site at https://collections.lancasterhistory.org

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