We've had some great ideas come in about the National Archives Catalog, including:
- Develop a way to flag records in the catalog to request that they be digitized.
- Show in the catalog what are the most recent search terms and what are the trending search terms, so you can see what people are looking at.
- Develop a tag cloud for search terms.
What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any ideas or suggestions of your own?
Due to the sometimes secretive nature of research, I am wary of publicizing the most recent search terms. Of course, there would be no names or data attached, but I wonder if some of the researchers of more obscure topics might see their topic as a trending search term might provoke some panic that others are searching for it too. Of course, I might be being overly cautious. I also wonder, knowing how many staff search in the catalog, if the search results might be skewed towards NARA staff and not the public.
I do love the idea of flagging records in the catalog to be digitized. It's a good way to gauge the public's interest in what we have, and what they need. Of course, we could get flags on everything people search for. So, something to be taken with a grain of salt.
I like the idea of digitizing flagged records also. Once the records have been digitized, they'll be available for easier public access later on.
Another idea: Videos about accessioning and process records.
This idea was to make videos about National Archives topics, including accessioning and processing and what does it mean at the National Archives. The thought was that the public doesn't know much about these internal process and videos could help explain this work.
What do you think?
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I'd rather see infographics, I think, because videos are a little less accessible for people who are using a public computer, at work, or on mobile devices. But whatever the format, yes, it'd be great to show the public what (and how) the Archives does things.