OCLC Research 2011: OCLC Research version of ArchiveGrid

As 2011 winds down, we are reflecting on what we’ve worked on or created in a mini blog series. This is the first entry, so stay tuned for more!

ArchiveGrid is, as the name hints, a discovery vehicle for archival collection descriptions. Although ArchiveGrid has been a subscription service for many years, we’re excited to offer a free version which will serve as a testbed for a number of important experiments around optimizing the discovery of materials that are described at a collection, rather than item, level. In 2011, my colleagues Bruce Washburn and Ellen Ast have invested significant effort in creating a new interface and refreshing the underlying content (bringing the number of records from just over a million to 1.7 million in a relatively short period of time).

In 2012, we’ll be experimenting with NER (named entity recognition) across the corpus, and also with a paper finding aids scanning project. We’ll report more about those efforts here. We also hope to refresh our knowledge of our user base, their habits and preferences. In 2006, we conducted user studies that afforded us key insights into what’s important to researchers, but it’s time to refresh our knowledge, so you can look for more information on that as well.

Check out ArchiveGrid at beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid, and let us know what you think!

To learn more, you can watch this short YouTube video on ArchiveGrid.

And if you want to dig deeper, there’s an ArchiveGrid webinar as well.