> begin to move forward developing a search interface
Do you plan to develop your own search interface or you plan to buy an EAD search-rendering tool?
The approaches you're describing were limited by multiple technical factors namely: back-end relational databases, XML databases, nature of the search engine, searching EADs or cross-collections (non-EADs), etc.
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I am beginning to think about how we at Mass. Historical will make our EAD
files searchable. I've examined the search interfaces of many institutions,
and I've identified three primary approaches (albeit with many variations).
First, some institutions simply offer keyword/boolean searching. Second,
some institutions allow researchers to search for names, places, titles,
subjects, dates, etc, in addition to keyword searching. Finally, some
enable searching in sections of finding aids, such as in the scope and
content note or in the biographical/historical note.
I am curious what goals/factors/ideas/assumptions I should keep in mind as I
begin to move forward developing a search interface. I can see merits to
all three of the above approaches. What influenced your decisions when you
were setting up your search interface? Does anyone have a keen sense of
what search options researchers find must useful and/or comprehend most
Thanks for your feedback,
Michael Rush - Manuscript Processor
Massachusetts Historical Society
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