Disruptive Components: Re-imagining Finding Aid Delivery on the Web

Session Type: Presentation/Panel

Session Description:
Our presentation will cover the entire process of our project to date, from the statement of goals, through the design/build iterations, to the first release, focusing the design of the application, the cross-departmental collaborative process, data cleanup and enhancement procedures, and the advantages of fast and open development procedures. The three session leaders will offer their perspectives on the aspects of the project for which they were primarily responsible:

* Regine Heberlein will talk about the project goals from the archivist’s perspective. She will discuss our current EAD encoding practices and workflows for creating finding aids and how new features such as modular display, sort functionality, user-contributed data, and the display of digital objects serve our users in new ways. She will address the data cleanup we did in preparation for the project and present an outlook on planned site enhancements, including the implementation of EAC.

* Shaun Ellis will discuss how proposed enhancements were honed through the use of UI design-patterns and style-guides, iterative prototyping, “discount usability testing”, and new collaboration tools. Shaun will focus on our sustainable approach integrating digitized content, and how users expect, and should receive, access to content online.

* Jon Stroop will talk about the underlying technologies and algorithms used to “break up” the finding aids and facilitate component-level search. He will touch on some other features of the application that make web delivery of large finding aids more practical and some utilities that were created to do value-added work on the data. He will also talk about how the application is modeled as a set of RESTful web services, and demonstrate how the site is managed via those services and supports access to the data in other formats, e.g. as PDF, XML, and RDF.

Session Leaders:
Shaun Ellis, Princeton University Library
Regine Heberlein, Princeton University Library
Jon Stroop, Princeton University Library

Session Notes:
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