Diary of the Archives Hub, July 2011
We had a forum this month that included both Contributors’ Forum members and Steering Committee members. It was a really useful and productive morning. The write-up from this can be found on our blog: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/blog/?p=2677. For me and Joy, this kind of feedback is invaluable in helping us to plan for the future, and we are very appreciative of those who came along and participated.
Linking Lives: a Linked Data project
You will be pleased to hear that we secured funding for an enhancements project, called ‘Linking Lives’. This project aims to work with our Linked Data output from Locah to create a names-based user interface, with links to other data sources. All will become clear as I start to set this out and blog about it. We showed a mock-up of the sort of interface that we want to create to the Forum, and it was well received. We’re very excited about this project, because it really does enable us to start to think about presenting archival descriptions in a new way, and integrating them much more closely with other data sources.
Feature for July
We are pleased to say that the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre and Performance Collections are now contributing to the Hub and this month we feature their wonderful collections along with some great images: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/theatreperformancecollections/
You now have ability to retrieve records as XML or text files simply by adding the requisite extension to the persistent URI, e.g.
This may not be immediately useful to your average user, but it is working towards the idea of flexible access for different uses, thinking beyond the traditional web-based interface. It certainly helps me, as I often want to check the encoding behind the descriptions!
We now have a simple plugin to search the Archives Hub. It enables the Hub to be searched via the search box in the top right of the browser, providing another means of access to the Hub. If you go to the Hub homepage, you can see the drop-down list of search plug-ins available and you will have the opportunity to add ‘Archives Hub’. This is indicated by blue highlighting on the drop-down arrow.
Reference and Former Reference
We’ve had quite a bit of difficulty with how to deal with records that include both a reference, and a ‘former reference’. These are generally from CALM. We have found that for some contributors the ‘former reference’ is exactly that, but for others it is actually the reference they want to use. We therefore feel that the only option is to display both references on the Hub. If any contributor would like us to globally edit records to remove one of the references, we can do that for you. For example: http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb0370pp1. We hope that this works for people. If it doesn’t, we can gather feedback and consider a different approach.