Mixit Projects - Manhattan Historic Sites Archive

Manhattan Historic Sites Archive

A digital archive of over 1500 items from the Manhattan collections of the National Park Service

CLIENT

National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy and the National Park Service

PROJECT BRIEF

We were asked to create an online database of highlights from the collections of six National Park historic sites that would meet the cataloging needs of the archivists on the back end and the research and educational goals of scholars and students on the front. It also had to serve members of the general public interested in exploring the nation’s history.

OUR APPROACH

We chose to work with Rediscovery Software‘s platform so the archival data from the Manhattan collections could be integrated into NPS’s master database. To enrich the website experience for visitors — in particular, to show the connections between archival items — we had the software customized.

OF SPECIAL NOTE

  • We worked closely with the archivists to ensure that their needs were met.
  • We specified customizations to the database platform by the software developers and oversaw the work.
  • We found themes and connections in the archival material and brought them to the surface in the website through tagging, storytelling and illustration.
  • The archive data was merged into the National Parks Service’s master database at the conclusion of the project and a system was put in place to allow for future updates.
  • Information fields added for the purpose of the archive website were maintained separately.