Updates and recent developments on ArchiveGrid webinar lineup

Don’t know what’s been up with ArchiveGrid since November 2011, when the ArchiveGrid team last gave a webinar about it?

This Thursday, from 3-4 p.m. EDT online via WebEx, is the chance to learn. All are invited to attend.

In ArchiveGrid and Related Work, the ArchiveGrid team – Bruce Washburn, Merrilee Proffitt, and Ellen Eckert – will:

  • Review ArchiveGrid’s background, what it is, and its mission
  • Discuss who uses ArchiveGrid and how
  • Lead a brief tour of ArchiveGrid
  • Describe how we get collections in and promote it
  • Explain recent OCLC Research work done to better understand the ArchiveGrid aggregation, how information about special collections is used, and new methods for making connections between related archival collections
  • Facilitate questions and answers from attendees
  • Monitor Twitter #archivegrid usage

Advanced registration is required. A recording of this webinar will be made publicly available on our website, YouTube channel, and in iTunes later in May.

From the news announcement:

“This is the thirteenth webinar in the OCLC Research Technical Advances for Innovation in Cultural Heritage Institutions (TAI CHI) series, developed to highlight specific innovative applications, often locally developed, that libraries, museums and archives may find effective in their own environments, as well as to teach technical staff new technologies and skills.”

National parks libraries hold rich potential for ArchiveGrid

This week in the American Libraries Association’s e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is a featured article about libraries at America’s national parks and five of the best ones were highlighted. Toward the end of last year, the ArchiveGrid team looked at a list we had compiled of U.S. national park libraries to search for finding aids in hopes we could enrich ArchiveGrid with collection descriptions about these Ken-Burns-documentary-worthy gems of nature our government protects for us to enjoy. At that time, two national parks in California – Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – were represented in ArchiveGrid via the Online Archive of California. To our pleasant surprise, we were contacted in January by Yellowstone National Park’s archivist for inclusion of its finding aids. When our first index update of the year happened a short time later, their collections were among our set of new contributors we harvested. As more finding aids for collections housed in national park libraries get online, we look forward to including them in ArchiveGrid.

Index update comes with new features, contributors, and webinar plans

This index update is different than previous index updates because it coincides with two new features we’re adding to ArchiveGrid and one event later this month we’re preparing for now.

First: A widget (code is at the bottom of our about page) which Bruce Washburn created for anyone to embed on guide pages so users can start an ArchiveGrid search and get taken to search results in our system.

Second: Extent, or physical descriptive data, in search result displays. These brief additions come from MARC record sources that include a 300 field subfield a, and for EAD sources that include an extent element value.

Third: A webinar from 3-4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 23. In this hour-long session we will review what ArchiveGrid is and how it works, share our latest developments, and answer questions. Please register here to attend. Advance registration is required.

Also we welcome five new finding aid contributors to ArchiveGrid:

University of California, Berkeley – Environmental Design Archives
Seton Hall University
University of California, Los Angeles – Ethnomusicology Archive
Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation – Presidio Research Center
West Virginia University – West Virginia and Regional History Center

With the addition of data from these new contributors, our index count is now nearly two million finding aids. Number of visits to ArchiveGrid has also climbed and was most recently at its second-highest since we started keeping track toward the end of 2011. We are thankful for these achievements and we hope for the growth to continue!