It’s a new year on Ohio Memory, and that means we’re rolling out some new features that we hope will enhance your experience with our digital collections! As of January 1st, we’ve enabled the addition of user-generated content to the images in OHS Selections, a collection that includes a wide variety of some of the highlights from our archival collections here at the Ohio Historical Society.
What exactly is user-generated content? At its most basic, this term describes the material on a site that comes from its users, rather than its administrators. Content can take the form of discussion boards or forums, reviews, wikis, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, among other things. On Ohio Memory, we’ve added the ability for users to comment on images, and to tag images with terms they feel might help to better identify the item.
If you click on the above image, it will take you to the item’s record on Ohio Memory. By scrolling down to the bottom, you’ll see the additional tabs labeled “Tags” and “Comments.” Tags can be added to an image record to help describe a photograph or other item in ways that are most effective for users, and to add additional context that can aid in an item’s “find-ability.” For example, I’ve added the terms “WHIO” (the station at which Evans worked in Dayton, still in existence today), “First Ladies” (to indicate that Eleanor Roosevelt is also seen in the photo), and “Female broadcasters” (to identify an important element of what this photograph is showing).
Because tags are searchable when you look for an image on Ohio Memory, they can be a great help in finding something relevant to your search that someone else has previously tagged. Tags are also indexed, meaning you can click on the hyperlink that appears and see all other images that have that associated tag.
We’re also hoping that users will take advantage of the “Comments” option to contribute their knowledge about items in the collection. We regularly get feedback from visitors to Ohio Memory who recognize an image that has not been correctly identified, or who have additional background on an important part of Ohio’s history. The comments feature allows for this kind of input to be provided on the image itself, in real time! We will regularly be reviewing the user-generated content that we receive to ensure that it’s accurate, and to make any necessary changes to the item’s description.
We encourage you to explore these new features on OHS Selections and see if you can contribute to the community of knowledge related to these historic materials. Be sure to stay tuned for comments and tagging in other Ohio Memory collections as we test out the process in the coming year!
Thanks to Lily Birkhimer, Digital Projects Coordinator at the Ohio History Connection, for this week’s post!