William Wueppelmann's blog

To stop or not to stop

The Canadiana Discovery Portal has been in operation for about a year now. Over the course of that year, we have changed the Solr index schema numerous times, experimenting to find what works best.

Discovery Portal Advanced Searching

The Canadiana Discovery Portal supports a number of search capabilities that go beyond simple keyword searching. If you're having trouble finding something or want a little more control over your searches, try some of the following:

The standard search is to search for one or more keywords, but you can also search for an exact phrase. For example, compare the results you get with canada pacific railway versus "canada pacific railway".

The Canadiana API

Did you know that you can turn any search results or record view page in the Canadiana Discovery Portal into a machine-parseable XML document or JSON object simply by adding the query parameter fmt=xml or fmt=json? For example:

 

http://beta.canadiana.ca/search?q=halifax+explosion

 

can be retrieved as an XML document:

 

CMR: the Canadiana Metadata Repository schema

The joys of metadata normalization

The Canadiana Discovery Portal  now contains digital collections metadata from a substantial number of contributors. When Canadiana receives metadata from contributors, we normalize it as best we can and convert it into our internal Canadian Metadata Repository format (which we will be making public in the near future). It would be nice to think that we could simply write a handful of filters to convert from the most common formats (Dublin Core, MARCXML and so forth) to our own CMR format but the reality is that, even though most metadata follows one of these structural standards, the semantic content is different enough that we need contributor-specific and even collection-specific scripts.

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