Design/Functionality Ideas for Archive Website

Now that we are looking in to creating a website centered around the Hilgenberg Archive/German Heritage Archive, I would like to share my ideas for the site. I would like the site to feature:

  • Searchable pages of Der Deutsche Correspondent (we’re looking in to the ABBYY Historic OCR software, see previous post).
  • The pages of the newspaper translated to both English and German (if possible).
  • A section for comments.
  • A photograph gallery for contemporary photos.
  • A section that features other German-related MdHS collections that could possibly expand to collections held by other institutions throughout Maryland.
  • Bibliographic section that features reference materials for German Heritage researchers.
Overall I would love for the website to feature great design that is easy for visitors to use.
If you have a favorite archive website that features a collection that you think I should take a look at, please feel free to comment on this post.
  1. I like websites like and though these sites would be different than yours because these sites have billions of records.

    I’m not sure what is the best example right off, but I suppose many people know what is good and what is not. That is why I am surprised when I see how complicated websites like the Maryland State Archive site are. They tried, but it only makes sense after someone spends hours using it and is a tech savvy learner. I suggest getting some elderly people with minimal computer skills to test an early beta when you are in development. 🙂

  2. My biggest concern would be to make sure we could change the website later on, say five years from now, once the site is built.

    Certainly, I don’t want this to be a complicated website. I agree that I will have to test the site with people who might be likely to search through it – both young and old, computer literate and less so. Also having a feedback capability would probably help when the site is already up.

    Thanks so much, I will post if I find a site I really enjoy and think will work for the Hilgenberg Archive!

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