New Archives Hub System
The Archives Hub has a whole new look and feel.
Please feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what you think. We are very keen to take note of all suggestions for current or future improvements to the site.
This version of the Archives Hub includes:
- A new back end system, developed by Knowledge Integration (http://www.k-int.com/), using Elastic Search
- A new front-end interface developed by Gooii (http://www.gooii.com/)
- A new administrative interface for us to manage data ingest and for our contributors to use to help manage their descriptions
- A new automated workflow, to allow us to take in descriptions at scale, to ensure more consistency and create machine readable reusable EAD descriptions
- A new 'EAD Editor' for creating and editing standards-based EAD descriptions
The new Archives Hub:
Has fast response times
Using ‘Elastic Search’ will dramatically speed up search retrieval times. The data is stored in a more flexible way, and presented on-the-fly, helping with speed of retrieval.
Is more comprehensive
Our new ‘pipelines’ for ingested data allow for much larger scale ingest of descriptions, maintaining quality data that can be re-used in other systems and services. This enables us to make the service far more comprehensive, covering more UK archives.
Highlights digital content
We have made digital content easier to discover through providing a filter to select digital content. The new Hub also includes archives digitised around subject areas that may not otherwise be effectively discoverable; these 'themed collections' bring together content digitised around a topic and often offer advice and support about use in learning and teaching.
Presents more meaningful relevance ranking
The relevance ranking can be configured, so we can work with researchers to find the best compromise to give results that are clearly relevant to the researcher.
Enables more effective searching
We have provided clear filtering options, so that a researcher can cast their net widely and then narrow the search through selecting dates, subjects and other criteria.
We are providing more routes through to explore the Archives Hub by subjects.
We have predictive searching.
Represents hierarchy more clearly
We have introduced a new display for hierarchical descriptions, aimed at those who may not be aware of how archives are organised. Item level descriptions are clearly shown within a collection hierarchy, enabling researchers to understand their place within an archive collection.
Gives more context
We are basing the new Hub on four types of record: archive descriptions, themed collection descriptions, biographical name records and institution (location) descriptions. We can also add other types of entity to this model. It allows for more connectivity and exploration between archives.
Biographical and administrative histories will be introduced in 2017. These will enable researchers to focus on people and organisations, and explore their connections to archives and potentially to other resources, so they provide great potential for connectivity both within and beyond the archives domain.
Gives better experience on different devices
The site is optimised for mobile and tablet devices.
Has an updated look and feel
We have a new look and feel, developed in association with our contributors and stakeholders. It is clear, consistent and user-friendly, aiming to be both a substantial academic tool and a way for inexperienced users to understand what archives can offer.
Is flexible and modular
A configurable and format-independent data ingest pipeline allows for a flexible approach, so that we are well placed to take in different data formats and apply appropriate normalisation processes to create standardised data.
Deals with very large and complex descriptions
The size and complex hierarchical nature of archive descriptions can sometimes cause problems in archival processing and display. The new system can deal with widely ranging sizes with thousands of units that may be in hierarchies up to five or six deep.
Provides Persistent Identifiers
We have made every effort to provide persistent unique identifiers for every level of description, to facilitate citation, bookmarking, linking and interoperability.
Provides an API
Descriptions can be accessed through the Elastic Search API as well as via OAI-PMH harvesting. This is being used to provide our descriptions to the Archives Portal Europe on a regular monthly basis. It allows us to take opportunities to promote the descriptions more widely, through subject-based portals and other services.
Enables quicker data processing
Data can be made live within 24 hours.
Provides a completely new EAD Editor
The very popular EAD Editor, used by many contributors for creating and editing descriptions, has been completely re-written, with more effective validation, use of controlled vocabulary, a look up to the VIAF (Virtual International Authority File), better preview and formatting functionality and emphasis on the output of reusable data.