The British National Archives is planning the launch of their new website Discovery at the end of June 2012. Having found that searching the site and finding cogent information has been a challenge with the old system, this is music to my ‘eyes’.
Discovery will replace the current Catalogue site and offers additional features, which includes displaying search results in order of relevance. This feature will help users to filter their searches by subject, date ranges and collection. Users will be able to tag records with keywords to expand on catalogue descriptions.
In addition to replacing the current Catalogue, Discovery will also replace the DocumentsOnline service and users can download digitized documents, all in one place. Researchers will still have to visit the National Archives at Kew to find information that is still not included in the database. Otherwise you will be able search, browse and tag.
Discovery works with Internet Explorer, Chrome Firefox and Safari and browser testing is always carried out before implementation to ensure compatibility.
If you have any problems or technical errors a Contact us form is available. Based on personal experience when I very recently contacted National Archives I received a very timely response. On the other hand, The National Records of Scotland (NRS) informed me that they were short staffed and it would take them at least 20 days to get back to me to answer a simple question. By now the 40 day mark has long since passed.
If you’d like to read about the transition to Discovery click on National Archives. The Catalogue will be will be turned off at the end of June of this year.