Dan, Congratulations on this achievement! It's more than just a VERY NICE display - it shows us what can really be accomplished with the standards, tools, methodologies, and systems that many of us already have in place. There are so many things to love about this display, including the ability to deliver the component level from search results - we've found that researchers often get lost in a finding aid once it's been delivered via a search result and can't figure out what is in the finding aid that actually responds to their search term. At first I wondered if one might lose context to the larger finding aid, but after looking, I think not.
Other things I love: faceted display of contents and finding aid elements at all levels; delivery of digital content at the folder level; Digitization on Demand potential via finding aid at the folder level; ability to make a research request via the finding aid; making the arrangement note prominently reflect minimally processed collections when appropriate. It's just a clean and easily used interface.
If you're concerned about letting users know that digital content is available for the collection, perhaps you could add something (an icon or thumbnail or tab) on the collection's home page? That is one reason why I like our own (AAA) display of a thumbnail link to an Image Gallery right up front - users know immediately if there is content and they don't have to drill down too deep to find it. BUT, unless we've digitized the entire collection, our collection-level Image Gallery is a link to items, not folders in context of the overall arrangement. And, what archivist doesn't want context!? Which your display has achieved so well.
But what I love the most about this interface is that you've shown us very clearly what can really be accomplished with structured EAD metadata. Mark Custer has developed a prototype interface for EAD with very similar functionalities for the SI EAD finding aids, but our SI-wide consortia group is still in the toddler stage and it will be some time before we will be able to take full advantage of his work in a shared repository.
Thanks for sharing this Dan and Congrats again, your group should be very proud - I think this really is THE next generation model for an online interface for our EAD finding aids.
Barbara D. Aikens
Chief, Collections Processing | Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
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From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dan Santamaria
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 2:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: New Finding Aids Site at Princeton University Library
Thanks for the kind words.
Michele Combs asked basically this same question on the archives listserv. I'll paste in most of my response to her below. There actually IS a facet for digital content (though perhaps we need to make it more prominent if multiple archivists aren't finding it.
Or...we could digitize more). For a quick link to a component with related digital content, you can go to:
We discussed a few options for communicating that material has been digitized. For now we've settled on a facet which displays from the search results - if you do a generic search for "Princeton" or "Students" you'll see it on the left hand side along with the other facets. Since the search results display data from components (as opposed to only entire finding aids) we also show a button with the label "online" with each record in the search results that has associated online content. Part of the thought behind this is that we want users to search everything, then request digitization if the material hasn't already been digitized.
On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 1:47 PM, Joyce Chapman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This is AWESOME! Great work. These doesn't seem to be a way to search
> for or narrow facets to collections that have digital content, is that correct?
> Could you send a link to a collection with digital content so we can
> see the delivery of images directly from the interface in action?
> On Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:56 AM, Dan Santamaria <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> The Archival Description Working Group at Princeton University's
>> Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is pleased to
>> announce the availability of a redesigned finding aid interface. The
>> site is now available in production:
>> This work is the result of collaboration between Princeton's Archival
>> Description Working Group and digital initiatives staff. It also
>> builds on descriptive data created by dozens of staff involved with
>> aggressive processing and data conversion projects over the last seven years.
>> Features of the new access system include:
>> * Delivery of images directly from the finding aid interface
>> * Contents lists that are sortable by title, date, or physical
>> location in the collection
>> * Direct access to EAD components from search results
>> * Faceting and browsing options from search results
>> * Enhanced topic features, based on linked data principles
>> * Support for delivery of EAC-CPF records
>> * IDs and stable URLs for every EAD component
>> * Better options for users to contact the library and connect with
>> each other, including an "Ask a Question" (for reference requests)
>> and a commenting feature for users wishing to request an enhancement
>> to the description or discuss the content of the collection within
>> the finding aid itself or share information within their own social
>> * A more modular display of the finding aids, including ?Component
>> Records' at each level of description that are intended to meet DACS
>> Single-Level minimum requirements.
>> * Aeon integration, including requesting without leaving the
>> interface (after authentication)
>> We welcome and encourage feedback through the "site feedback" link at
>> the top right of every page.
>> The implementation team includes Maureen Callahan, John Delaney,
>> Shaun Ellis, Regine Heberlein, Dan Santamaria, Jon Stroop, and Don Thornbury.
>> Please contact Dan Santamaria ([log in to unmask]) with any questions.
> Joyce Chapman
> Triangle Research Libraries Network
> CB# 3926, Wilson Special Collections Library Chapel Hill, NC
> Phone: (919) 962-1345
> Email: [log in to unmask]
> Website: www.trln.org/ccc