Smithsonian Collections Blog

Highlighting the hidden treasures from over 2 million collections

Collections Search Center

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Smithsonian Institution Launches SOVA: Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives

Blogs across the Smithsonian will give an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blog-a-thon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.

October is American Archives Month and it is the perfect time to unveil our new Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives  searching tool!

The Smithsonian Institution has vast archival collections that measure circa 137,000 cubic feet, making its collective holdings one of the largest repositories of primary sources in the United States.  Held in fourteen individual repositories, the collections tell the story of our nation’s shared artistic, cultural, folk, natural, technological, and scientific heritage, as well as the history of the Institution itself.

Users can now discover these unique resources via Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA), an online interface that provides access to archival collection descriptions in EAD (Encoded Archival Description) format, and associated online content, including letters, manuscripts, diaries and journals, ledgers and stock books, photographs, scrapbooks, sketchbooks and drawings, technical drawings and blueprints, field notebooks, log books, rare printed materials, sound recordings, videos, and much more.   Collection descriptions can be downloaded as either EAD or PDF documents.

SOVA also allows users to browse easily to related museum objects and library resources with simple links to the Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center, as well as archival collection descriptions from other institutions in OCLC's ArchiveGrid.

The technical platform is based on open source technology.  EAD documents are indexed using Apache Solr, and the website is built with Bootstrap, CSS and JS framework.  The application development used responsive design to ensure desktop and all mobile tablets and devices are well supported.

This is just a beginning for the Smithsonian in providing access to its archival collections.  We will continue to add new functionality, new collections, and more digitized objects in the near future.

Ching-hsien Wang, Project Manager for the Transcription Center
Collections Systems & Digital Assets Division

No comments:

Post a Comment