AIM25 Linking Project

Regular users of InforM25's “Search-catalogues” service may have noticed that we now link to the AIM25 archival collection description service. This facility was originally investigated a number of years ago but at the time, full linking was not technically possible. More recently, the Consortium provided funds to enable the linking to be developed and implemented on the live service. In short, the linking facility informs users that relevant archive collections have been found, as described by the AIM25 service. This information is available for the Subject and Keyword Anywhere search types on “Search-catalogues”.

The Problem

Offering users a link to relevant archival collections (often located in M25 member institutions) is an aid to resource discovery and helps to promote both the AIM25 service, and the archive collections described by that service. The largest issue to overcome was how to present the information to InforM25 users. Results in “Search-catalogues” are item (MARC) records, AIM25 has collection records in ISAD(G) format. It was necessary to display the very different types of data to users in a way that was clear.

The Solution

The linking is offered for Subject and Keyword Anywhere search types only as these were the most realistic searches on InforM25 that could be mapped to appropriate collection description fields. “Search-catalogues” uses Z39.50 to remotely search member library catalogues. The (possibly unique) implementation of the linking to AIM25 has the following stages:

  • When “Search-catalogues” performs a Subject or Keyword Anywhere search, unknown to the user a search of the AIM25 service is also carried out via Z39.50 using the same search term.
  • If records are found on AIM25, a message appears in the “Search-catalogues” results informing the user that relevant archival collections have also been found and a link provided to view the records.
  • If the user elects to follow the link to AIM25, a new query (but using the same original search term) is sent directly to the AIM25 database, and the result displayed in a new browser window. This new window uses the standard AIM25 results page templates and therefore enables the user to explore the archival records whilst not losing their InforM25 results (remaining in the original browser window).

The work to implement this facility was completed late last year and it is planned to promote it further. Please contact members of the M25 Support Team for further details.

John Gilby
M25 Administration & Project Manager