Contributing Descriptions of Online Resources
What are Online Resources?
Online Resources are websites that display or represent archive materials in some way. They usually provide access to digital content, maybe through a digitisation project or a theme-based initiative, but they can also represent physical materials.
Submitting a description
We welcome descriptions of resources that provide access to primary source material. The description must include a web address, and the content must be available to researchers.
Our EAD Editor provides a form to fill in to create an Online Resource description. If you already have a login, simply use the appropriate tab to open the form. If you do not contribute, we can provide you with access to the Editor in order to create a description.
The information on this page and additional information about completing the fields are available in a Guide to Creating Online Resource Descriptions (Word doc).
Please contact us if you have any questions about submitting a description.An Online Resource should have:
- A title that works on the Web
- A unique identifier
- A web address
- Time period covered if relevant
- Languages used
- Index terms (names and subjects), which are important to help with discoverability.
- Collection size, if applicable
- Material types
- Related collections
You might want to include an image that can be displayed alongside the description – you will need a URL for the image. For example: IMeche Virtual Archive
Updating Online Resource Descriptions
Log into the Editor to access the description from your file store. You can revise and re-submit it at any time.
Why include Online Resources?
The aim of the Archives Hub is to help researchers quickly and easily search and explore across as many archives as possible. The inclusion of any resources relating to archives that are available online will help to surface digitised material and project-based resources which might not otherwise be represented on the Archives Hub.
Adding an online resource:
- Enables researchers to discover your resource by keyword, topic, date, etc., along with thousands of other archival collections on the Archives Hub
- Gives your resource more visibility, as the Archives Hub has good search engine rankings.
- Gives the opportunity to link to related collections on the Hub or elsewhere, to facilitate connectivity between resources
- Creates an interoperable Encoded Archival Description (EAD) record that can be used elsewhere
- Should only take up to an hour of your time – the form is simple and easy to use
Why are Online Resource descriptions different to Archive Collection descriptions?
Online Resources can't easily be catalogued using standard ISAD(G) approaches. They might not have an identifiable creator/originator, they may not have an obvious extent, as they bring together varied resources, and they do not have an archival hierarchy. They typically cover more than one collection, or parts of collections. They may not be hosted at one institution and the website, which provides access to the archives, is the focus of the resource.
If you are still not sure what Online Resources covers, it is useful to explore the descriptions already on the Hub.
Characteristics of Online Resources
- A website provides access to the content. This often provides a level of support and interpretation to the user, rather than simply providing descriptions of content.
- The content relates to a theme, e.g. dance, photography, navigation, old maps, London’s past, Britain on film
- The content typically comes from a variety of sources rather than a single source
- The content is usually digital, or the website provides some level of access to the actual materials
- The content is not more appropriately described as a standard archival collection (typically with a defined creator and history, hosted by one institution, stored in one location and ordered hierarchially)
- There are not levels of description. A collection that could appropriately be described hierarchially should be treated as a standard archive collection.