Yesterday, patrons of cultural heritage organizations traveled to libraries, archives, and historical societies to look at, listen to, and peruse newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, audio clips or moving images. The older and more fragile the material, the more difficult it was for patrons to access what they were looking for. Special collections were housed in environment-controlled rooms or available only on microfilm, creating a hindrance for the interested parties and complicating access to the source of information.
Of course, this is still an accurate description of how people interact with many archival collections. Yet, there is a shift taking place. Today, patrons around the world can sit in the comfort of their own homes accessing rich cultural heritage materials on computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Collections are going digital and have been for some time but what is truly innovative about digital collections is the ways in which people can interact with them.
Libraries and institutions choose to digitize collections primarily for the purposes of preservation and greater accessibility, but there is more to it than that. The online environment opens up vast opportunities for turning a relatively passive activity, like reading a newspaper or watching a film, into an interactive and often collaborative pursuit.
, the latest version of our preservation software, incorporates several new features that give registered users the ability to interact with digital collections and personalize their experience.
User text and metadata correction
– Users can correct errors in the text and metadata in your collection while they use it. Corrections are saved and improvements to the content means better search results overall.
– Placing tags on an article, an image, or an audio or video file helps group items into categories, making it easier for patrons to browse and search through collections by common themes.
– Users can add comments about an article or item of any type. Comments can be especially useful for adding context to historical photographs, maps, and manuscripts. Comments become instantly searchable by all users.
– Users can bookmark items in Veridian collections and add them to “private lists”. User can easily rename items, e-mail selections, and add or edit notes related to the items. They can also delete lists, move items between lists, and remove items from lists. In this way users can keep track of interesting content and set specific materials aside for easy access at a later date. Lists are managed on the “My Account” page.
– Veridian now remembers a user’s recently viewed items and their most recently added tags and comments. When a user is logged in, they can access their history of interactions under “My Account”.
Try these features by visiting the following sites:
Cambridge Public Library
Veridian Demo Site
The 5.0 feature set is included in all new Veridian collections and available for existing collections as part of your next Veridian upgrade. Contact us
for more information.