Getting more (or less!) from your Archive Collections with Descriptive Dates

Archive Collections Descriptive Dates

You want your users and researchers to find relevant content from your archive with ease and to make the whole process as simple as possible. Dates are an important element in filtering content but are often difficult for users to correctly apply and use.

How do you best approach this? You need to provide users with search via specific dates or date ranges or periods of time. Let’s take the example of an archive with materials dating back to the 19th century.

You want to provide a search feature that labels date periods descriptively: the ability to create date groups that can be selected by cataloguers and users so that they are meaningful, such as:

  • 18th century
  • The mid-fifties
  • The 60’s
  • The 70’s and so forth…

It is much easier for a user to select 19th Century instead of having to enter a date period manually and pick out 1st January 1801 to 31st December 1900. This helps researchers get the most from your collections and to retrieve all the relevant dated content quickly and easily.

Manual date range searching is still an option and always available to use, but this adds clarity and speed to the search filter.

Helping Administrators too

The library system administrator can quickly and easily create and edit these date groups within system management with the Soutron Archive application.

List of Created Defined Descriptive Date Groups

Edit your Descriptive Date Period

All dated records within the collection will automatically benefit from these added descriptive dates. You don’t need to go in and add “20th Century” to records retrospectively to benefit from this functionality in search.

We have tried to make this very simple and easy for archivists and their researchers to benefit from this powerful search feature.



Always Listening

This feature enhancement came about as a result of sitting down with an archivist and understanding the way that information was being managed. Their old system had a very cumbersome process to perform which was very time consuming for staff. As part of the implementation process we saw a way to improve systems and set development on a task.

It’s all a matter of observation, listening and our favourite question “why are you doing it that way?”  followed up by “how would you really like this done?” and then we find the time to develop new and ingenious ways to get the most from collections and content.

To see a demonstration of Soutron Archive and to learn how it can work for you and your collection contact us today. Descriptive Date Groups is due to be included in our next software release in Q1 2018.

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