Creation of a new photographic and collections website for Bury Archives Bury Libraries & Archives (Bury Council)

The Brief

Bury Archives Service and Bury Local and Family History Service sit firmly within the thriving and dynamic cultural quarter of Bury’s town centre. Bury Archives Service was established in 1985 to collect the records, papers & photographs which are of cultural and historic value relating to the Borough of Bury and make them available to the public. In 2014 the Council received a Heritage Lottery Grant for a project titled “Bury Remembers the first World War” which required staff to digitally extract all Bury related WW1 content from the 5 newspapers that were in print during the First World War. This resulted in a digital collection of around 3,000 soldiers’ images, 3,000 obituaries, and over 20,000 various other digital extracts including soldiers’ letters, poetry and adverts. In order to share this fascinating content there was a requirement to have a public access website that allows for easy searching through the plethora of WW1 content. In addition, there was 17,500 Archive Photographs of the Borough that were required to be housed on the website.

Our Response

In partnership with Bury Libraries and Archives we designed a website which matched the subject matter but also resembled the current Bury Council website as per the brief. We integrated Umbraco CMS into the site so that Council staff were able to add, always delete and edit content. The website has the functionality to tag and watermark uploaded digital content to ensure the copyright of the content is kept intact as this was a prerequisite for the content going on. As part of the Umbraco configuration we included multiple metadata fields to categorise content to aid user experience when searching for through the vast amount of content. We also integrated a secure payment facility to allow customers to pay for digital downloads and prints and included an audit trail of purchases.

The Outcome

We provided a website solution that can facilitate the viewing of thousands of images, with easy to use search functionalities as well as an ecommerce platform to purchase digital downloads as well as printing, packaging and posting images to customers. The website collections can always be added to and admin users can constantly add content in the form of digitised archive and local history records.

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