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Explore The Features

Publishing with PastView

Choosing PastView to publish your digital material is like opening the gates to an archive wonderland. With so much to choose from, and boasting a design team that’s forward thinking and innovative in their approach to accessibility and usability, the future’s exciting with PastView. Pick and choose, depending on your package, or tell us what you would like to see. If you can picture it, it’s likely that we can create it. Take a look at some of our popular features below.

Management with PastView

With PastView you are always in control of the content you upload and publish, managing how you want your users to see and access it. Upload your entire archive straight away, or grow your collections over time. Set restrictions and protect your data through watermarking while considering options for revenue generation by ‘turning on’ available features, such as paid downloads and subscriptions. Being in control never felt so liberating.

Explore Publishing FeaturesExplore Management Features

Publishing Features of PastView

Website Design

It’s very important for organisations to be recognised for their originality, so PastView offers the option for bespoke website creation, taking into account existing branding and style. A tailor made approach enables the design of new sites to be in keeping with existing ones. Your PastView website is sleek and accessible to all, making use of mobile responsive technology. Whether accessing the archives through ipads, phones or laptops, the look and feel is always professional and entirely user and social media friendly. For those who don’t want to create a separate website for their archive, PastView also offers the flexibility of a bolt-on option, using an existing website to showcase your digital collections.

View industry specific website design examples

3D Page Turning using BookExplorer

BookExplorer’s 3D technology allows pages to be smoothly and elegantly turned to give the user an experience that’s as close as it gets to the real thing. Brought to them through flawlessly rendered graphics, this feature allows pages to be turned by clicking and dragging the cursor on a PC, or simply sliding a finger across the screen of a tablet, mobile or other touchscreen device. Perfect for your digital journal and newspaper collections or for those huge fragile volumes that might otherwise be inaccessible. With none of the restrictions imposed by vaults and glass cabinet displays, you can be sure that your most treasured books will now reach and captivate an audience in a way they have never been able to before.

See an example with the Royal Photographic Society journals

High Res Zoom using PageExplorer

PageExplorer is perfect for large scale images, such as maps, that might have been scanned in parts to capture every intricate detail before being digitally stitched back together. The interface allows for effortless high resolution zooming to an incredibly fine standard, ensuring that every intricacy is available to be researched and discovered. Simply hover the cursor over an area using a mouse scroll wheel and double click, or pinch-and-zoom on smart phones and tablets. Panning across images is also easy and intuitive: just click and drag with a mouse or touch and drag on touchscreen devices. PageExplorer heightens viewer satisfaction, giving the look and feel of the real thing, but with the ease that comes with digital large scale manipulation.

See an example with the Dept of Survey & Mines map

Virtual Reality Tour

Let visitors walk your corridors thanks to the revolutionary Virtual Reality Tour, accessing all areas and seeing for themselves where your most treasured archives are kept under lock and key. Allow them to gaze at portraits hanging on the wall, or find books in the exact location as they sit in the library. Let them marvel at the artifacts on display or, indeed, the decoration and furnishings that you have collected in order to compliment your archive. Make the most of your internal spaces and give visitors a fully immersive experience where they can click on items within your collection, read more about them and find other related items within the archive, as if they are really there. This is a colourful, interactive, sensory journey that people can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.

Explore a VR tour with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Site Search

Our comprehensive search facility is powered by three main elements: attributes, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), transcription and audio transcription. When items are uploaded to PastView they are allocated attribute sets (all the different ways an item or image can be described) and these terms can then be searched in order to drill down to the most related items, returning results that are comprehensive and accurate. Our software also searches documents for text and accurately picks this out in order to retrieve content by character recognition. Transcription and audio transcription provides yet another means of searching for the information your visitors are looking for. Now they can search with ease and confidence, accessing exactly what they want at the mere click of a button.

See an example and search the Burma Star Memorial Records

Digital Downloads

Generating income through an offer of ‘image digital downloads’ is PastView’s most popular and profitable revenue method amongst our many users. By default, every digital item held within PastView Essentials, is published to your website ‘free of charge’ – meaning members of the public can search, browse and view your collections and items without making a payment. However, you may decide to impose a fee for members of the public to access some or all of your items. Setting prices and enabling ‘digital downloads’ within or across collections is as simple as selecting an item, choosing a price and clicking save!

See an example of digital downloads with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Physical Print Requests

Perfect for generating revenue from photographic collections, this feature enables your users to purchase glossy physical prints in size A5, A4 and A3 and is a great way to extend your income generation methods. And don’t worry if you are unable to provide a print fulfilment service in-house. TownsWeb Archiving can optionally take care of this for you by accepting the order, and then locating, printing and despatching the print(s) directly to your customer. All you need to consider is what to set the profit margin to!

See an example of physical prints with the Wigan and Leigh archives

Subscriptions

Providing access to your collections via paid subscriptions is a very popular method of generating high-value, long-term income that your customers will greatly appreciate. Subscriptions is popular amongst genealogy data publishers, and also owners of magazine, journal and other bound published collections. Want to allow subscription access to a specific collection of magazines with durations for 7 days, 28 days or 365 days? All of these options, and more, are available with just a few clicks of your mouse!

See an example of subscriptions with the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Offline Copies

Providing customers with the ability to download an entire collection of digital items to their device (Kindle, PC, Mac, Tablet, Phone) is a fantastic and valuable offering that they will truly appreciate. Offering offline copies of items such as books, magazines and journals in PDF, MOBI and ePUB formats allows your customers to view them at their leisure without the need for an internet connection.

See an example of offline copies with Herefordshire History

Protect your Images using Watermarks

Content is becoming much easier to access, view, share and utilise, so selecting to add a watermark to your images immediately secures them online and protects against copyright infringement. This is your opportunity to digitally stamp ownership of your collections and enforce necessary user restrictions. As with all PastView display features, this option is completely customisable by the administrator, allowing you to control the text you would like to appear and any images you would like to use as your official watermark. This includes deciding on size, placement and opacity. You can go for something big and bold, with full viewing subject to paid download, or go for something more discreet, allowing viewers to enjoy the images while removing the ease or temptation to copy and redistribute them.

See an example watermark from the National Jazz Archive

Timeline

There are so many ways to search and present digital collections and PastView offers a range of gateways to help your visitors find and access the items they most want to see, while optimising user experience and engagement. An exciting and increasingly popular way that PastView can gather and present your items is within a timeline, documenting your history and allowing you to tell your organisation’s unique story and journey through the fascinating medium of time. This is a great way for researchers to get a fuller picture as events happen, moving back and forth as they wish. This feature is brought to them in vibrant, visual and chronological order, making user searches structured, logical and organised.

See an example timeline from the National Jazz Archive

Format Flexibility

Many digital collections are often, by their historical nature, held in a range of quite dated formats and, over time, the technology and specific equipment to view and support this unique material can become less readily available, or even withdrawn from manufacture altogether. Typical content ranges from large format maps and bound volumes to photographs and audio visual content, such as VHS and 35mm film. This presents a real barrier when it comes to sharing and accessing this historical and diverse digital material, putting it at risk of being lost. For this very reason PastView has been developed with format and flexibility in mind and we are confident that whatever your content, we can transfer it to digital format so it can be protected, shared and enjoyed for generations to come.

See examples formats from the National Jazz Archive

Management Features of PastView

Attributes

It is important to be able to organise your data as efficiently as possible. Consequently, at the point of upload, PastView’s advanced database enables each individual item to be assigned relevant attributes, for example the date a photograph was taken, the title, the name of the photographer or the author. These attributes can then be organised into attribute sets: the usual list of attributes you would expect to record for a specific type of item. This data entry process is vital for the smooth and efficient structure of your collection and these attributes will go on to drive the search behind your collections and help to form the specific searchable fields to aid access and searchability.

Entities

Taking the attributes feature further, PastView also allows you to determine entities within your collections: any specific person, place or thing that could be tagged to make connections between items and bring them together. For ‘person’ it might be all surgeons or musicians that are tagged. For ‘place’ it might be hospitals or venues. For ‘thing’ it might be surgical or even musical instruments. Each entity will have its own attribute set: all of the things that make up the qualities of that entity. So for ‘person’ it might be first name, last name, date of birth or occupation. Together with the attributes, attribute sets and entities, your database will be totally connected and can take full advantage of cross collection searching.

Collection Management

It’s important that you have ultimate control over your content and how it works for you, so with PastView Essentials the management of your digital collection is in your capable hands. After the initial PastView upload, you can continue adding to your digital archive over time. Organising items in to collections, sub-collections and also assigning attributes is easy. And publishing a ‘hidden’ collection to your website is achieved by simply switching a toggle from ‘hidden’ to ‘visible’.

CMS Systems

PastView allows you to add, manage, remove and link to pages on your website. It allows you to add and edit content too, such as information within your ‘home’, ‘about’ or ‘contact us’ pages. You decide how you would like to manage your content and what you would like to share and then create and name your pages accordingly. Many digital collection owners take advantage of the opportunity to create fund raising pages or provide advertising for their sponsors and stakeholders. For organisations with a proud and far reaching history, for example, it also enables them to share their story, introduce themselves, and talk about their objectives in order to engage with their audience.

Tagging People

There is no doubt about it, digital collections are vast and wonderfully diverse, but this can make connecting items across collections a tricky business. Your users might want to find information about a specific composer, artist or other influential person, but in addition you have a huge amount of varied and supporting material that they might also find fascinating and valuable. Here’s where tagging comes in. With PastView Enterprise you can tag items within your collections to other items, such as connecting people through first name and forename, so that searches can trawl and return every item related to it. Suddenly your digital collection has become a comprehensive web of interlinked content. No photograph is left unturned and no journal forgotten.

User Management

By default, PastView Enterprise provides three user licences, to enable concurrent access to the user management module. Here you can create any number of additional users in order to access the admin interface and manage, edit or add to your digital collections. For your separate logins you can set different levels of control and accessibility ensuring that, for example, any staff or volunteers inputting data can only access the content and related features necessary to complete the task. There is no danger in something accidentally being changed or edited that you would require to be a permanent feature, such as attributes or entities. This provides the freedom to share tasks and management of the system without putting your collections and data at risk.

OCR Items on Upload

PastView Enterprise’s inbuilt optical character recognition module provides a fantastic solution for searching items, such as journals and newspapers, by making the typed text searchable. By selecting OCR during the initial upload, images will be rendered and any text found will be stored against each item as a permanent record. This allows users to perform a search through your website for the content of a document rather than just a specific field, such as name, date, or volume. The search will trawl all items in your digital collection, matching stored text against the given content, taking the user directly to the page and location where it can be found and highlighting it automatically. It couldn’t be easier for your users to find what they are looking for.

Bulk Importer

After initial upload, you are likely to want to continue adding to your digital collections over time and this couldn’t be easier with our brand new import system. The bulk importer allows you to search for the files that you would like to upload, select as many as you wish, and then simply import and allow PastView to do the rest. You can then monitor and manage your imports through the PastView management system to see if any errors have occurred. You can also see who exactly has imported content, how they imported, the progress of the import and when it was performed, before beginning the task of assigning attributes and organising your content.

Reporting

Despite it being clear that PastView Enterprise is doing a fantastic job of organising, managing and publishing your data, you will likely want to see, and share with others in your organisation, the data and statistics that are being gathered in the background. It’s helpful to know exactly how your content is being accessed so you can establish your user’s preferred research habits. You might want to look at visitor trends and work out what items are proving most popular, or monitor your sales. This is something the reporting feature in PastView can do for you, keeping you fully up to date on the progress of your digital collections.

Demonstrations

If you would like to find out more about our services, please contact us.