Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University
Where can I find material about the desegregation of my school? That is the question that the catalog of the Desegregation of Virginia Education (DOVE) project is designed to answer. DOVE is compiling a catalog of primary sources related to school desegregation in Virginia. Initially the catalog was a simple list of records and a basic search function. For several years we looked for a tool that would allow us to display our catalog in a format that would be graphically appealing to educators, scholars, and the general public. We wanted people to be able to find collections by looking at a map of Virginia or looking at a time line. We needed a tool that could be installed, customized and maintained without significant IT support on our end. And we wanted it to be free.
With Viewshare we got all of that. The Library of Congress name behind Viewshare was an additional selling point for adopting it. Viewshare will benefit the DOVE project as a whole by giving us added credibility and visibility. Showing granting agencies, potential volunteers and institutions our catalog displayed in the Viewshare’s map, makes the concept of the DOVE project much more tangible. The better we can explain our project, the more volunteers we can get to survey archives and add records to DOVE catalog. Viewshare’s search, timeline and map capabilities will make it easier for patrons to find collections for their school district. The different display facets of Viewshare make it suitable for use for the general public and scholarly researchers. The map and timeline feature will be particularly useful for K-12 classroom use. Viewshare will increase the visibility of the DOVE project, increase the number of people who use our catalog, and make it easier for patrons to search our catalog.