Searching within collections in DIMES

Over the weekend, we launched an improved version of DIMES functionality that allows users to search within a single finding aid. Previously, the “Search this collection” simply added highlighting to hits within the body of the finding aid, which meant it was often impossible to find hits in long contents lists. In fact, we noticed that many users were simply resorting to using their browser’s “Find” functionality. Continue reading

How do our finding aids get from ATReference to DIMES?

Our finding aids get from AT Reference to DIMES in what is basically a three-step process:

  1. Data is exported from ATReference as EAD files
  2. Those files are then indexed in DIMES
  3. And finally, transformation processes are run on those files to convert them and have them display in a web browser.

On the surface, this is a relatively simple process. However, each of these steps involves a number of different technologies and paradigms for information storage, retrieval, and display. Continue reading

Improving Search Engine Traffic to DIMES

Over the last several months, I’ve noticed that DIMES is getting a very small number of hits from search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In an effort to increase traffic from those sources, I’ve added some structured data to the pages for finding aids and library materials that major search engines use to improve their search results. By adding this markup to DIMES, we should be able to improve our presence on results pages while also increasing our relevance rankings, which will move us closer to the top of the results set. Continue reading