Getting your digital archive online
There is a large variety of ways to get your collections online so users can see them! ‘Low-tech’ and free options will have limited functionality, but may be good for those just starting out or those who wish to share their entire catalogue alongside a more curated range of items, images and articles. Some options are listed below:
- Upload your archive catalogue file to your website. Simply upload your archive catalogue in a PDF or spreadsheet format so researchers can see what items you have in your collection. This is the simplest and most ‘low-tech’ option for getting your collection online but it does have a few cons. You will have to maintain your archive offline and manually update the archive catalogue periodically. Researchers will only be able to see the catalogue entries for items, although you could display a few items that you feel will be of most interest on your website alongside the catalogue.
- Upload your archive catalogue to the National Archives. Adding your catalogue to the National Archives Manage your Collections Service allows it to be searchable by many thousands of researchers.
- Download open-source software. Some options include Omeka Classic or AtoM. You will need some technical skill for this option (or be able to employ a freelancer to help with set-up). You will also need to download it to a web server (software-support forums may be able to suggest some good web hosts).
- Subscription-based catalogue-hosting software. You pay a monthly/yearly subscription fee for your collection to be published on a third-party website. You may be able to embed the collection on your own website for an extra cost. Examples include Omeka and eHive.
Costs £30-£1000/year (depending on package chosen)
Community Archives and Heritage Group, Getting Your Collections Online