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PastView Essentials

PastView Essentials

Offering choice and flexibility

The PastView Essentials package contains all of the core things you need to get your archive uploaded, managed and published online. With plenty of storage to get you started, and additional storage available to purchase as your archive grows, PastView Essentials offers a great range of optional extras and flexibility.

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Showcase your digital collection to online audiences

With a pre-themed mobile compliant website, to include Modern, Historic, Arts and Military, it’s easy to get online with Essentials. With the option to select your logo, heading and colour scheme, as well as other simple feature choices, PastView Essentials has everything you need to get your digital collections up and running.

What’s included with PastView Essentials:

Perfect for small to medium sized digital collections. Style your own website and take advantage of a number of truly great features. Get your data online quickly and easily and enjoy the benefits that come with choice and flexibility.

from £9,995

+ from £990 per annum

Key Features

  • Preconfigured website theme for online user-access
  • Ample initial storage of 10GB / 5,000 itemsYour items can include images such as digitised books, photographs, records etc. More than 5k records can be uploaded at an additional cost.
  • Simple record upload and editing
  • Secure off-site cloud backup
  • Protect your images using simple watermarks
  • High-Res zoom using page explorer
  • Immersive page turning using classic book view
  • Flexible revenue generation capabilitiesThe revenue generation module add-ons shown below can be included from £2,995
View Essentials features View Essentials features

The Essentials Package

Included FeaturesAdd-On Features

Attributes / Image Details

When uploading your images they are assigned ‘Attributes’ (the details that best identify and describe them). For example, attributes could include the date, original reference number, photographer and location. All of these attributes then become searchable terms, thereby enhancing the discoverability of your online items. With PastView Essentials, you can select one of our pre-configured attribute sets (containing up to 15 attributes) in order to organise, enhance and make searchable your collections. Storing textual data against each of your items aids consistency and search productivity.

Item Management

Based on an item being around 2MB, you can upload up to 5,000 records equating to 10GB of storage with PastView Essentials. 10GB of storage is a lot of space, so you’re going to need to be able to manage those individual items and decide how they will be identified and organised. At the point of upload, your items can be allocated attributes and attribute sets, to help gather items into multiple searchable collections. You can continue to add items over time and decide when and where these will become available to your audiences, releasing them as part of a digital or physical exhibition for example.

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’.


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 you also know you have a huge amount of varied and supporting material they might find both fascinating and useful. Here’s where tagging comes in. With PastView Essentials you can tag items within your collections with particular names and details, so that searches can trawl and return every related item.

Watermarks - Protecting your Images

Select to add a watermark to your images and immediately secure them online, protecting them against copyright infringement and digitally stamping ownership by removing unrestricted access. With PastView Essentials you can configure watermarking during the installation of your data, selecting text, size and direction of the watermark you would like to include. This is then automatically applied to each and every one of your items, reducing the risk of them being used and shared without permission.

Optical Character Recognition

PastView Essentials’ inbuilt optical character recognition module provides a credit-based solution for making typed text searchable. By selecting OCR during the initial upload stage, images will be rendered and any text found will be stored against each item. This allows users to perform a search through your website for the content of a document, rather than merely a name or date. OCR will then match this content against the items in your collection and return any that match, taking your user to the page they are looking for with the word or phrase highlighted automatically.

Page Explorer and High Res Zoom

Page Explorer is PastView Essentials’ core image viewer. Perfect for photographs, as well as large scale images, such as maps, enabling users to view every intricate detail through effortless high resolution zooming to an incredibly fine standard. Simply hover the cursor over an area using a mouse and double click, or pinch-and-zoom on smart phones and tablets. Whatever device your users engage with, their experience will always be of the highest quality. Panning across images is also easy and intuitive: just click and drag with a mouse or touch and drag on touchscreen devices.

Classic Book Viewer with Previous/Next Buttons

For items which consists of multiple page images, Classic Book Viewer is PastView Essentials’ answer to the ultimate viewing experience. Collating images within a digital collection and selecting Classic Book Viewer will gather items together and allow users to move between images using ‘previous’ and ‘next’. This is the ideal feature for presenting letters, double-sided images, objects, or bound content. If you like this method of display then why not try PastView Essentials’ add-on, ‘Book Explorer’, which provides users with the ultimate 3D page turning experience.

Book Explorer and 3-Dimensional Page Turning

Add-On: £2,995

Book Explorer’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 journal and newspaper collections, or for those huge fragile volumes that might otherwise be inaccessible, captivating your audience in new, exciting and immersive ways.

Digital Downloads

Add-On: £2,995

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!

Physical Print Requests

Add-On: £2,995

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!


Add-On: £4,995

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!

Offline Copies

Add-On: £2,995

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.

Protected Access

Add-On: £1,995

Restricting access to specific groups is possible using our Protected Access module. Perhaps you only wish to grant access to your digital archive to an existing list of subscribers or employees? Perhaps you would like a “Members Only Area”? This module allows specific groups of users to be managed , meaning that when a user enters their own secure credentials, only then will they gain access to your online collections.

We can import your data

10GB Additional Import: £720

PastView Essentials includes an initial data import of up to 10 GB/5,000 items. The ability to add further items through PastView Essentials is entirely possible through your admin interface. If you have a larger number of items and would like a professional import workflow for your data, we will be happy to arrange this process for you. This can either be done during initial setup or later on, as your digital collections grow and further digitisation projects are scheduled.

Data Storage

10GB Additional Storage Bundle: £720pa

PastView Essentials will be pre-loaded with an allowance of 10 GB of storage space, and for small to medium sized digital collections this should be ample and allows for circa 5,000 items at 2Mb each. But if this isn’t enough, no problem, you can purchase an additional 10 GB storage bundle at any time and continue adding items to your collections for your audiences to engage with and enjoy. This option grants you the freedom to pay for extra space as you need it and not before, allowing for budgets and workflow.


2 hours included

PastView Essentials provides you with everything you need to get your digital collection uploaded, managed and published online, through a system that is intuitive and user friendly. However, you might want to take advantage of some additional training in order to get to grips with the many exciting features available. This is always an option and is great for new staff or, indeed, for refreshing and updating the knowledge of existing staff.

User Access

Additional License: £750pa

By default, PastView Essentials provides a single secure user access (1 x licence). For small to medium sized organisations it is often preferred to have a single controller of the digital collections and data. However, should this need change or perhaps you want to take advantage of using volunteers, you may wish to purchase an additional licence(s) and the consultants at PastView can advise you further on this and make the necessary arrangements for you.

Request a PastView Demo

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