Category Archives: CONTENTdm

New Ways to Search and Browse Dig Memphis

We’re always trying to make it easier for you to find what you need in the digital archive, and in the past few weeks we’ve added a few improvements that we hope will help you do just that.

Since many of the digital collections contain smaller “mini-collections,” we are starting to make them browsable by adding links on the collection landing pages, as seen here:

Thanks to a suggestion from our friends at the May program of the West Tennessee Historical Society, we are also beginning to add decades to the metadata so that you can browse by decade.  Only two collections are complete, but we will hopefully have the rest done soon and you can already begin looking the archives through the decades by clicking here.

If you only want to view images and not be bothered by all of the accompanying information, you might like the new image wall.  On every results page, an option will be available to “view image wall.”

When you click on this option, you will see something like this:

If you have other suggestions of things you would like to see in the archive, please let us know!

Happy hunting!

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Do you know something we don’t?

I bet you do!

As of today, it will be much easier for you to share what you know.  Comments, tags and ratings are now enabled for every item in Dig Memphis.  So, if you see something that you can identify or provide a suggestion about, you can tell us on that very page.  Even if it’s only a guess, we’d love to hear what you think about the documents and images in our collections.

Oh!  I almost forgot – You can download and print the images, too.  Enjoy!

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Using the Dig Memphis site

Now that we have had the new site for a few weeks, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks that will make it easier to use the Dig Memphis site and to find what you need.

Browsing

If you just want to wander through one or more collection, you can use the browse function.  Unfortunately, some users have noticed that the page navigation sometimes disappears.  (Page navigation being the page numbers at the upper-right of the item list that allow you to jump from page to page.)  It’s awfully hard to browse when you can’t switch pages.  Turns out, the page navigation’s visibility is tied to the screen resolution.  Your display resolution must be over 1100 pixels in width for the page numbers to be visible.  Hopefully, this problem will be ameliorated with the next upgrade, but until then… Don’t forget your glasses!

Searching

You can search the entire archive or you can select which collections you would like to include in your search.  If you go to the landing page for a particular collection and type a search term into the box on that page, your search will automatically be limited to that collection.   You can add or remove collections from your search by checking/unchecking the boxes on the left hand of your search results page.

When keyword searching, remember to keep it simple — one or two words will usually be plenty to narrow down your results.   Unless, of course, your keyword is “Memphis,” which will not be quite as helpful.

One other note – The upgraded software has been having trouble with apostrophes, ampersands and quotation marks.  Hopefully, a software update in the next month will take care of it all, so once again I ask that you excuse our imperfections for the time being. 

Enjoy your dig!

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New Website Launching This Week!

You will notice a few changes around here this week, as we unveil our new website: Dig Memphis – The Digital Archive of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center.

During this week of transition, things may look a little strange at times.  But never fear, the new site should make it all worthwhile.  At any time, you can click on the link on the right side of this page to go directly into the archive.  The guide to the digital collections will remain available in a tab above.

One other note – Due to some changes in the software, we will need to eliminate some HTML codes from the individual item records.  Until we can go through all 7,900 of them, humor me and pretend like you can’t see the <tags>.  Deal?  Cool.  Thanks.

Having problems? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll try to see what we can do to help.

Thanks for your patience, and enjoy the new site!

UPDATE: The new site will launch on August 1st.  Almost there…

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It’s the little things…

Have you ever done an advanced search in the archive and noticed the “Refine Your Search” box on the left hand side? Did you ever notice that the subject headings were jumbled and didn’t make sense? Well, thanks to Peter at CONTENTdm, you can finally search by keyword and narrow it down by subject. 

Happy searching!

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Oh, the places we’ll go…

I tell you what… You wouldn’t believe what will be done in the name of advancing the digital archive.  After a ton of arm-twisting and cajoling, I agreed to attend the Southeastern CONTENTdm Users Group Conference in Charleston, SC.  Honestly, can you imagine being forced to go to Charleston?  Poor me.

Ha!  Lucky me!

But what turned out to be most fortunate is that this was a truly excellent conference.  Hosted by the College of Charleston Libraries and the Avery Research Center, this gathering provided me with my first opportunity to sit in a room with someone else who uses this software.  And it wasn’t just one person, but more like 64!  I have so many new ideas and tricks that I hardly know where to begin.

So, what does this mean for you?  Well, folks, there will be a lot of changes coming to the archive in the next few months.  We’re going to do a redesign and upgrade our software, which should make it easier for you to search and browse the archive.  Also, soon you will be able to tag and comment upon individual items, so it will be easier for you to tell us what you know about particular images or documents.

Changes will be rolling out through the summer, and we’d love to know what you think.  Please let us know if something isn’t working correctly or if you need assistance using the new configuration.  Any feedback will be appreciated!

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