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Hub and Spokes Development June07


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Archives Hub intro and about distributed Archives Hub

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Hub and Spokes Development June07

  1. 1. The Archives Hub The service, the users, and the development of the distributed Archives Hub Jane Stevenson MIMAS University of Manchester
  2. 2. Archives Hub <ul><li>A union catalogue for archives held in universities, colleges and other organisations throughout the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by the JISC </li></ul><ul><li>Now holds c.20,000 finding aids from 150 institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Funded for academics and students (JISC), but free to access for all </li></ul><ul><li>One of a range of national services provided by MIMAS at the University of Manchester </li></ul>
  3. 3. Methodology <ul><li>Responsibility for creating descriptions has always been with the institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Raw materials are text files structured according to the international archival XML standard EAD </li></ul><ul><li>Hub online template </li></ul>
  4. 4. Data quality <ul><li>Data Editor </li></ul><ul><li>Data creation guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>'For Archivists' </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contributors' training </li></ul><ul><li>Indexing standards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Subject finder </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Hub users
  6. 6. Searching styles
  7. 7. Search terms, August 2006 <ul><li>Tolkein papers </li></ul><ul><li>london transport </li></ul><ul><li>bangor cathedral </li></ul><ul><li>ethnomethodology </li></ul><ul><li>grave-robbing </li></ul><ul><li>bee beetle </li></ul><ul><li>middleeastcrises </li></ul><ul><li>Teddy Boys </li></ul><ul><li>Harry Potter </li></ul><ul><li>ninja </li></ul><ul><li>How many people were killed during Ida Amin's power </li></ul>
  8. 8. Beyond finding aids… <ul><li>September 2001: Collection of the Month </li></ul><ul><li>July 2003: 'Guided Tour' </li></ul><ul><li>January 2004: 'For Archivists' section </li></ul><ul><li>February 2006: Archives Hub Blog </li></ul>
  9. 9. We want the Archives Hub to be : Sustainable Owned by the community Comprehensive Ubiquitous
  10. 10. The distributed Hub <ul><li>Originally all data held at Manchester </li></ul><ul><li>Distributing the data was part of the plan from the early stages of the service </li></ul>
  11. 11. Frustrated Happy Graph inspired by Jessica Hagy
  12. 12. Testing Feedback Development
  13. 13. Cheshire Development Team, University of Liverpool Archives Hub service team, Manchester and early adopters at universities in Scotland and England Direct from testers and more formally through Spokes Users and Developers group and Contributors’ Forum Testing Feedback Development Cheshire for Archives 3.2
  14. 14. Quick guided tour
  15. 15. Spoke home page
  16. 16. Customisation of home page
  17. 17. Results display
  18. 18. Collection-level record
  19. 19. Full multi-level finding aid
  20. 20. Search term ‘photograph’
  21. 21. Administration interface
  22. 22. Managing EAD files
  23. 23. Overview of activity
  24. 24. Technical details <ul><li>Runs on a Linux (Red Hat or Fedora) server </li></ul><ul><li>Cheshire3 information retrieval software </li></ul><ul><li>Cheshire for Archives EAD-specific software </li></ul>All open source
  25. 25. Installation <ul><li>Takes around one hour to install </li></ul><ul><li>… but not always trouble free </li></ul><ul><li>Free to download ( </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation and support from Archives Hub website and Spokes mailing list </li></ul>
  26. 26. Cheshire for Archives <ul><li>Provides Web, Z39.50 and SRU interfaces to archival descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Highly customisable: XHTML display controlled by XSLT and CSS </li></ul><ul><li>Search options make full use of EAD’s descriptive markup </li></ul>
  27. 27. Issues <ul><li>Time: software development is a time-consuming business </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving standards: Z39.50 being succeeded by SRU has entailed additional work </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements: institutions’ needs and preferences vary considerably - important to build flexibility into the software </li></ul><ul><li>Communication: importance of keeping a wide user community up to date with developments and any problems </li></ul>
  28. 28. Benefits for Archives Hub community <ul><li>Software gives control of data back to the repositories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes it more likely that they will add new descriptions and expand upon existing ones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Built-in interoperability means that data can be accessed by a wide range of services, from search engines to metasearch applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Including the Archives Hub! </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Sun Mill Company
  30. 30. John Rylands’ Spoke
  31. 31. The Archives Hub becomes… <ul><li>More sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Community-owned </li></ul><ul><li>Increasingly comprehensive </li></ul><ul><li>Available to users wherever they are </li></ul>