Archival Collections Catalogue interface tweaked for increase ease of use

by Anna Dysert, Associate Librarian, Archives and Manuscripts/Special Collections, Collection Services

The McGill Library Archival Collections Catalogue has switched over to a more user-friendly interface to help users navigate archival descriptions. The fresh look will allow researchers to better visualize the relationships between records in a fonds or collection and move between record descriptions.

The McGill Archival Collections Catalogue is a one-stop research resource for over 1000 archival fonds from five different libraries and collections: McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections, Marvin Duchow Music Library, the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection, and the McGill University Archives.  

This change to the catalogue’s interface consists of a new navigation element found on each record’s description page.  

Full width treeview of an item from the Dawson-Harrington Families Fonds in the McGill Archival Collections Catalogue.

The new navigation display supplies information about a particular record’s context and helps to navigate more easily to other related records in a collection. Scrolling on the new display is more seamless to help with large collections that have longer lists of files and items. The new display box can be expanded for better perusal of the fonds hierarchy or collapsed for more comfortable reading of the record description below. Another improvement over the old interface is that with this new element, you can view the record hierarchy in the top display at the same time as viewing search results within the “Quick Search” sidebar, used to search for keywords inside a fonds or collection.  

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