New shiny Aquabrowser

We’ve released an updated version of our Aquabrowser powered integrated search service.   We added new functionality as a result of poking around other Aquabrowser implementations, integrated another dataset (thats 4 now, only another 3 to go!) and checked our accessible version was working as required.  Our Aquabrowser database now contains more than 4.25 million records.  Wow!

The new functionality stuff includes:

  • an Advanced search option that allows users to keyword search within specific indexes such as title and author and  subject
  • the ability to retract the word cloud so that there’s more space to display the search results and facets
  • some changes to the results display including showing the shelf mark, series and subjects
  • the AddThis button so folks can easily email, Tweet and Digg records
  • on the full record display for main catalogue data we are grabbing live data about availability and location from our Voyager system
  • and other little things that address issues that our colleagues in Enquiries and Reference Services identified like improving the display on full records for 800×600 screens and trying to enhancing the visibility of the Request item link

The new dataset we integrated into Aquabrowser is the catalogue of Scottish Bibliographies Online (SBO).  This MARC based catalogue of nearly 200,000 records includes the Bibliography of Scotland, the Bibliography of Scottish Gaelic and the Bibliography of the Scottish Book Trade.  You can spot SBO records in Aquabrowser because they are listed as “Forms part of Scottish Bibliographies Online” or you can choose SBO from Select Collections.

Aquabrowser at NLS

Many of the records in SBO are derived from our main catalogue and Meindert, our Aquabrowser implementation engineer over at Medialab in Amsterdam, had his work cut out for him in matching SBO records to those from main catalogue.  This was made even more challenging for him because the relationships between records in the two catalogues has not been consistently recorded.  As I have learned, problems such as this are not unusual and are as a result of data migrations and changing cataloguing policies and priorities.  But the challenges of integrating numerous datasets with varying metadata schemas,  differing terminologlies and cataloguing practises is a whole other post and a lifetime of work. So while I get on with that why don’t you try our Aquabrowser service and feedback you impressions (we like to hear both the good and bad).

Until next time …



2 Responses

  1. Used this as an example of ‘diffusion’ in a presentation to our Library Committee this week (and NLS Flickr/YouTube for ‘concentration’). I suspect some of them were rather nonplussed, but I think it got them thinking…

  2. Loving the aqua browser on NLS . Gill Hamilton gave an excellent presentation on the NLS usage of this at last week’s CILIPS Conference, was really rewarding to see the challenges of bringing together disparate collections under one common means of search.

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