The National Archives and Records Administration’s new Online Public Access prototype is now available to the public. The agency is asking everyone to please try it out and to send your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quoting from the NARA announcement:
The National Archives’ flagship initiative in our Open Government plan is to develop online services to meet the 21st century needs of the public. It is also a key component of our agency’s Transformation Plan, to be customer-focused and ensuring our nation’s heritage is accessible to all.
The Online Public Access prototype is the public portal that provides access to digitized records, and information about our records. It also provides a centralized means of searching multiple National Archives resources at once. Currently, researchers perform separate searches in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) for catalog descriptions, histories and biographies; Access to Archival Databases (AAD) for electronic records; and Archives.gov. The new interface illustrates a streamlined search experience for users, searching across all of these resources.
The prototype currently contains all of the data from ARC, and seven series from AAD, containing 10.9 million permanent electronic records. Additionally, the prototype provides access to one million electronic records currently in the Electronic Records Archives, which are not available elsewhere online.
The National Archives will add additional functionality in the coming year, including an image zooming feature that will enable users to zoom and pan our online holdings, and social sharing through Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
The National Archives is asking the public for feedback to ensure a user-friendly search and display. Please send your comments and feedback to email@example.com.
You can access the National Archives and Records Administration’s new Online Public Access Prototype at http://www.archives.gov/research/search
My thanks to Dennis Hawver for telling me about this new online resource.