Canadiana is replacing its original Early Canadiana Online (ECO) research platform, which is beginning to show its age, with a faster and more flexible site open to the public. For the first time, individual users may sign up for an ECO account and receive the sum of Canada's documentary heritage at their fingertips. Each new account will enjoy a free 15-day subscription.
ECO is Canadiana's flagship database. It provides a repository and Web access to 12 collections containing over 3.5 million pages of documentary heritage, including government documents, books, pamphlets and magazines from the time of the first European settlers to the early 20th century.
The first thing to note about the new ECO beta is that it represents a ground-up overhaul of the search platform and delivers a set technical improvements, the most obvious being faster, smarter searching and navigation. Among the new features are secure connections, personalized user accounts, and individual and institutional online subscriptions. The new platform will also allow ECO to embrace user-generated content such as comments, recommendations, tags, collecting, and sharing.
Existing users will notice right away: running a search looks and feels different on the new ECO. This is because, in the background, the new database unleashes vast new potentials within document metadata. Users will also discover more tools and options, including wild-card searches, complex Booleans, and filtering by document type, collection, or language. Researchers can manipulate their search results in new and unprecedented ways: a chaotic list of records, for example, takes on new sense and clarity when sorted by publication date, language, or type of record.
Over time, the personalized user account capability will permit researchers to build and customize their own personal libraries of digital documents. It will be possible to set up bookmarks to key items or add them to a set of “shelves” to which users can return at any time.
Canadiana is committed to consulting its users to obtain ongoing feedback and suggestions for adding more options, features, and improvements to the platform.
Subscribed to the old ECO?
We are transferring existing accounts to the new platform to make sure our subscribers can make use of the added features. If you prefer to stay on the traditional ECO for the moment, have no fear: your access has not been suspended. Canadiana will, however, retire the old site by 1 June 2012. Please note that new accounts are not backward-compatible: once an account is activated on the new platform, changes to account information on the new site will not affect the old site and vice versa.