New Online: Rosa Parks, Page Upgrades, Search Functionality

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)

This item from the Parks’ collection documents her reflections on her bus arrest, circa 1956-1958.

This item from the Parks’ collection documents her reflections on her bus arrest, circa 1956-1958.

In February, the Library of Congress added the Rosa Parks Papers to its digitized collections. The collection contains approximately 7,500 manuscripts and 2,500 photographs and is on loan to the Library for 10 years from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Included in the collection are personal correspondence, family photographs, letters from presidents, fragmentary drafts of some of her writings from the time of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, her Presidential Medal of Freedom, her Congressional Gold Medal and more.

The online presentation includes a video that contains highlights from the collection and a look behind the scenes at how the Library’s team of experts in cataloging, preservation, digitization, exhibitions and teacher training are making the Parks’ legacy available to the world.

To support teachers and students as they explore this one-of-a-kind collection, the Library is offering a Primary Source Gallery with classroom-ready highlights from the Rosa Parks Papers and teaching ideas for educators.

Along with digitized materials like the Rosa Parks Collection, the Library continues to add new born-digital materials to its website. The Library’s Web Archives have recently been updated with content collected during the 2012 and 2014 United States Elections.

February also brings some changes to our overall presentation – we’ve upgraded all of our item detail pages (the page where you view bibliographic data alongside a digital resource, like an image or video). All pages now feature an improved, simplified layout for all screen sizes, larger thumbnails, simplified download links and easier access to “rights and access” information. We’ve also added an overlay so that you can tell when an item has multiple pages, such as in a folder of manuscripts, or an atlas, like this circa 1700 volume with 14 images to view:


Also new on item pages is our beta Cite This Item widget. Users can click to see the bibliographic data for the item formatted in Chicago, APA and MLA styles.


Since searching our website is the way most users interact with our content, we’ve added a new search facet (aka filter) to help users find digital content based on whether it’s fully available online or not. Look down the left hand side of a search results page (like this search for photos of “Yoesmite”), and you’ll see a box labelled “Access Condition” – you can use that filter to limit your results to items fully available, or items that only display a thumbnail and that you need to come to our reading rooms to see in their entirety.


A few other new things worth noting are now online: “Jazz Singers,” a new exhibit on the art of vocal jazz from the 1920s to the present; The Mexican Revolution and the United States in the Collections of the Library of Congress, an upgraded presentation describing the “complex and turbulent relationship between Mexico and the United States during the Mexican Revolution, approximately 1910-1920” drawn from primary source items in the Library’s collections; and Women’s History Month 2016, an update of our collaborative portal with links to featured content from the Library and our partners at the Smithsonian, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, and the National Archives.

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