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CODE4LIB  December 2012

CODE4LIB December 2012

Subject:

Re: Blacklight implementation at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

From:

Rosalyn Metz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 11 Dec 2012 11:47:55 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

Kudos to the USHMM team!


On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Just curious, did you use Hydra for this project, or just straight
> Blacklight without Hydra?
>
> Esp if not Hydra, what tools did you end up using for indexing your
> content into Solr? (Only SolrMarc, all your content was already avail in
> Marc?)
>
>
> On 12/11/2012 11:10 AM, Levy, Michael wrote:
>
>> I posted the message below on the Blacklight Development group, and I was
>> encouraged to share with code4lib, so I'm reposting with some minor edits:
>>
>> I'd like to share a Blacklight implementation at the United States
>> Holocaust Memorial Museum that is available at
>> http://collections.ushmm.org/**search<http://collections.ushmm.org/search>It's been in use in-house for about a
>> year, with constant improvements and additions.
>>
>> First, a tremendous thanks and kudos to all of the people involved in the
>> Blacklight project. I'm so grateful to everyone who worked on the project
>> and to those who have helped me with Blacklight, Ruby on Rails, and
>> SolrMarc.
>>
>> The various collecting units at the Museum use very different fields,
>> labels, vocabularies, and spellings. I had a lot of fun mapping them and
>> thinking about what sorts of fields might work together for searching. The
>> catalog records sources include: a commercial ILS; a commercial
>> collections
>> management system; two completely custom desktop database applications; a
>> spreadsheet; and a custom MSSQL database application. In addition, we have
>> a system that manages digitized assets that supplies some data.
>>
>> Selecting a project based on Ruby on Rails came at a cost, including the
>> learning curve involved with RoR and, moreso, due to the process of having
>> RoR established with our IT infrastructure group. (Thanks go to our IT
>> group as well!)
>>
>> I looked at some other really fine open source projects as well as
>> commercial products. Blacklight seemed optimal for our case because it
>> easily deals with any kind of metadata sources and it was a mature system
>> with a vibrant user/developer community.
>>
>> I'll highlight a few interesting features.
>>
>> Our collections management system supports relationships between records
>> including parent/child type relationships, e.g. between collection and the
>> items that comprise it. Here is a collection that has one archival
>> (document) collection plus several objects:
>> http://collections.ushmm.org/**search/catalog/irn508676<http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508676>
>> We also have another parent/child type of relationship, where a group at
>> the Museum catalogs victim or survivor lists. I could import those, and
>> because there's enough metadata to link to the archival collection they
>> are
>> part of, I can link them together. For example, this archival collection
>> http://collections.ushmm.org/**search/catalog/irn508286<http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn508286>is linked to a number
>> of names source catalog records at the bottom, and each of those is linked
>> to the archival record as its source. These are done by doing a separate
>> Solr search for each item to see whether it's got a parent or children to
>> display near the bottom of the record.
>>
>> Many years ago the Museum developed a geographic database. One area where
>> the various collecting units catalog disparately is in location naming. I
>> simply turned the names into a Solr synonyms file and then I highlight the
>> snippets in the index/list view. So that way, if you searched for L'viv
>> and
>> you got a hit on Lemberg or Lwow or L'vov, you'd know why you got it. Same
>> with Munich, München, Muenchen, Munchen, and for Lodz/Litzmannstadt. (Some
>> day would be nice to have the name expansion be switchable on or off.)
>>
>> Thumbnail (and larger) images from the archival records and objects come
>> from the collections management system for the Museum objects. Also
>> finding
>> aids for archival ("Document") records are currently managed in the CMS
>> system as doc, docx, or xls files and are delivered through Blacklight on
>> the detail page. For the photos and the historical film, the thumbnails
>> come from other sources based on the two custom desktop databases
>> mentioned
>> above.
>>
>> We have thousands of hours of oral history testimony in many languages
>> viewable from the Blacklight detail page as mp4 or mp3 files. The easiest
>> way to get to those is by limiting Record Type to Oral History, and Online
>> to "Yes":
>> http://collections.ushmm.org/**search/catalog?f[di_available]**
>> []=Yes&f[record_type_facet][]=**Oral+History<http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog?f[di_available][]=Yes&f[record_type_facet][]=Oral+History>
>>
>> I welcome feedback regarding the user interface, bug reports, and any
>> other
>> ideas you have, on the list or offline. (Plus I hope to meet some of you
>> at
>> code4lib 2013.)
>>
>> Cheers!
>>
>>
>>

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