Value of the Archives Hub
Our annual surveys provide a summary of our value:
Archives Hub 2015 survey (PDF document)
Archives Hub 2014 survey (PDF document)
A summary of the 2013 survey is available (PDF document).
What do you most value about the Archives Hub?
1. The ability to search across archives held in different locations (without necessarily knowing where they are held)
The Hub brings together information about archives held across the UK, so the researcher can undertake effective cross-searches and more quickly and easily find relevant sources.
2. The ease of use of the interface and search
We work hard to make sure the interface is user-friendly. We have recently had a complete re-design, adding filtering, making it easier to find digital content, improving the navigation and updating the look and feel.
3. Breadth of coverage
We know that a comprehensive service is extremely important for researchers, and we strive to ensure that the Hub continues to grow and represent more contributors from all types of archive repository across the UK. We currently have over 300 contributors across the UK.
4. Online access for some collections that would not otherwise be available in this way
Some collections are only described on the Archives Hub. Researchers have the opportunity to find completely new evidence for their research.
5. Archives are added all the time
The currency of the service is highly valued, as descriptions are added, and also updated, on a weekly basis.
6. Access to the institution's own collections
For many contributors, the Hub provides a useful way of accessing their own descriptions, as well as giving them an Editor to create and edit descriptions
Chart showing how comprehensive coverage and detailed descriptions are what is most important for researchers (2014 survey)
Time Saving and Recommendations
Chart showing how the Archives Hub saves researchers time (2015 survey)
Strongly agree or agree that the Hub saves researchers’ time:
Chart showing whether users would recommend the Hub to others (2015 survey)
Strongly agree or agree that the Archives Hub is worth recommending to others:
What changes could we make to improve the Hub?
1. More comprehensive
Top of the list is more content, so that when researchers use the Hub they is more likelihood of them finding archives relevant for their topic. We are addressing this by adding new contributors all the time and creating a more efficient workflow so that descriptions can be uploaded quickly and revisions are made live almost instantly.
2. More detailed descriptions
Not far behind a comprehensive service, detail within descriptions ranks highly. Researchers clearly want the ability to pin-point exactly what they want to use for their research. Our EAD Editor helps our contributors to create multi-level descriptions.
3. Ease of Use
Ease of use came out both as something researchers liked about the Hub and something to be improved. We have addressed this by working on a completely new front end, with input from contributors and researchers.
4. Other changes
We have made other changes in response to feedback:
- more digital content and a digital content filter
- improved relevance ranking
- more information on how to access materials
- search by collection, sub-section and item
- themes searching through our new themed collections
"I most value that it is comprehensive, free, and accessible worldwide. I plan research trips to the UK from the US using it." (2015 survey)
"An incredible resource for the researcher looking for materials relevant to their subject." (2012 survey)
"You can search across collections! Not just a single repository. And I don't need to try and figure out how the various catalogues of the repositories work. It's a unified look and usage across many collections." (2014 survey)
"I most vlaue the sheer breadth of material and archives that are catalogued." (2014 survey)