Exploring the Renovated International Research Portal

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Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

By Gregory Jansen

The new International Research Portal for Records Related to Nazi-Era Cultural Property (IRP), hosted by EHRI, contains all of the same information resources that are familiar to people using the portal when it was hosted at NARA. The new portal also includes several new features and an updated design that was created over the past year by students and faculty at the University of Maryland’s School of Information Studies.

For those familiar with the previous portal, you will find a new comprehensive page of collection descriptions. This page is a long, exhaustive list of all the research collections that were previous arranged on separate pages. The page include a table of contents on the left side to allow quick navigation to relevant collections. We think this streamlines the process of finding collections and it will allow visitors to use CTRL-F to search within the page. You can find links to this big page under the “Institutions” and “Collections” menus in the drop-down. Links will take to you to specific content within the page. This and the new look and feel of the site are the major design changes.

The major new feature is a collection search page. This page will take a user query, such as an artist’s name, and submit that search to the subset of the portal collections that practically support online search results. Instead of having to visit all of these collections individually, users can use the portal to perform a quick scan of where relevant records are found. At the time of this writing there were ten sites automatically searched by the portal (a complete list of the included sites can be found here). The portal returns a list of all the searched collections, with the number of results found in each and a link to go there.

The portal has several advanced search features that may assist users to formulate better searches. There are buttons that perform translation of query terms into either French of German. There are also autosuggest terminologies, coming from Getty Research vocabularies (ULAN, CONA, TGN), that prompt users with artists names, locations, art techniques in the advanced search form. We hope that the search feature will save time for professionals and be a more inviting first step for non-professional researchers.