YUL gets an updated interface for digital collections search and discovery

On Monday 9/21/2015, YUL’s digital collection discovery interface (findit.library.yale.edu) will go live with a new design modeled on the Quicksearch interface design. These coordinating designs let our users know that they are in the same Yale University Library web space and should expect similar functionality.

The new look and feel of digital collections search at YUL- main page (click the image to get a larger view):

Digital Collections Search look and feel


Search results in the new design:

Digital Collections Search look and feel - search results


There will also be a few new features in the digital collections search added on Monday. These include:


  • an Access Restrictions facet, to limit by either open or restricted accessNew feature: Access facet
  • a Repository facet, to limit to and search within a specific repository at YUL

New feature added: Repository facet

  • a Call Number facet, to limit to and search within call numbers assigned to items

New feature: call number facet


Another feature coming soon (but not on Monday) is a date slider with a histogram visualization, which gives users the ability to limit by date range and see the frequency of hits in a given year. To see an example of a feature like this used elsewhere, click on this search of Articles+ and look to the lower left to see the date range and histogram.

Coming soon: date range


As always, your feedback is welcomed and appreciated. Please use the feedback link on the bottom center of the digital collections search page (or just click here), and tell us your thoughts!

Project update: Digital collections search interface

Central ITS will be conducting the first of three load tests on the enhanced interface for digital collections on Friday July 17th between 1:30pm and 5pm. They will use a service called LoadRunner which determines the breaking point of an application by emulating real use by a number of concurrent users. The second two tests will take place between July 27 and July 30. I will follow up once these dates and times are confirmed.

These tests on the enhanced interface for digital collections are not expected to impact the current digital collections interface. Library IT will be monitoring the current digital collections interface on 7/17 for service disruptions.

I write to you regarding some testing on the enhanced interface for digital collections that may impact our current digital collections discovery service (http://findit.library.yale.edu). The enhanced interface for digital collections is a version of this digital collections discovery service, with features, functionality and security developed for use with more restricted digital materials. Like our unified discovery service,Quicksearch, both the digital collections interface and the enhanced version are powered by Blacklight.
Curious about what’s in the Yale University Library digital collections search? Here’s some clocks made by Paul Revere. We also have fire insurance maps of Seymour, CT– and much more! You can learn more about the Library’s discovery services (Articles+Quicksearch and digital collections search) at the Rediscover Discovery forum in August (Tues 18th and Thurs 20th). More information on that coming soon.

If you have questions about this work, or notice any issues with http://findit.library.yale.edu, please let me know.


Mike Friscia

On behalf of the FindIT Project Implementation team:

Osman Din

Eric James

Tracy MacMath

Anju Meenattoor

Bob Rice

Lakeisha Robinson

Steelsen Smith

Kalee Sprague

Yale Joins the IIIF Consortium

On Tuesday [June 16], eleven world-leading institutions agreed to form the IIIF Consortium, a member organization dedicated to sustaining and advancing the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The consortium will support the work of IIIF by pooling and allocating funding from members for exposing content via IIIF; doing outreach, training, and advocacy to grow the community; maintaining and elaborating on the IIIF technical specifications; providing catalytic support for IIIF-compatible software development; helping coordinate the IIIF community, and more.

[Read more]

Fedora 4 work at Open Repositories 2015

Open Repositories 2015 highlighted some of the interesting projects from different institutions.

One such Fedora-based project demonstrated the application and usefulness of the Linked Data platform. The project uses graph-based metadata; research data is cataloged using museum specific FRBRoo and CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) ontologies, instead of using classic metadata schemes. The project participants claimed that in comparison to traditional bibliographic metadata schema (such as MODS), “these vocabularies allowed us to express detailed relationships between digital objects and entities (people, places, events, concepts) in a more nuanced way”. The relationships are described in RDF and persisted in Fedora 4. Fedora 4 speaks and understands RDF natively and acts effectively as a Linked Data compliant server.

The benefit for the project is that the user interface (based in Islandora) is driven entirely by RDF and researchers and scholars can directly query the metadata graph by entering powerful queries via a SPARQL endpoint.

I also had the opportunity to present a poster exploring the integration of Fedora 4 with Sakai (known locally as Classes v2). Fedora 4 uses a backend technology (ModeShape) that is an implementation of the Java Content Repository (JCR) standard. Sakai offers some support for JCR, making direct integration feasible. Sakai content can be directly accessed in Fedora 4 and Sakai can access Fedora 4 content as if it were a part of its own datastore. Before Fedora 4, custom tools would have to be developed to tackle the linking, making inter-operability harder and less maintainable. Fedora 4 offers a new way, thanks to a modern technology stack. A number of leading institutions that run both Sakai and Fedora expressed an interest in further exploring the integration possibilities via this approach.

Library and Workday testing results

After months of careful planning and testing, the Workday transition is close to becoming a reality.  Even though not much has changed for the library, as one of the downstream users, the library played a role in the testing of the patron data extract process.  This is to ensure that all of the Human Resources data is carried through into the Voyager patron database correctly.  A team of approximately 15 Access Services staff members from Sterling, Divinity and the CSSSI devoted some time analyzing patron records before and after text patron extracts for comparison.  Between all of us, we analyzed a little over 400 patron accounts for accuracy.  Additionally, ‘mock accounts’ that were created by University ITS staff were also examined (ie, new hires, terminations, job changes, etc) and carried through a Voyager patron extract correctly.  All in all, with a strong team composed of Access Services staff, Library IT and University IT, we were able to confirm that the data flow will remain unaffected.  This change is scheduled to take place on July 1st.  For extra measure, the same team who participated in the testing will also check Voyager patron records for accuracy after the first scheduled patron extract when the Workday transition happens. For questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at cindy.greenspun@yale.edu.

For more information about Workday, please visit: http://news.yale.edu/2015/06/08/workdayyale-launch-july-1.

To see the last post about this, please visit: https://campuspress.yale.edu/libraryitnews/2015/01/12/the-library-prepares-for-workday-testing-with-university-its/