PastView helps create North Lincolnshire Central Libraries WW1 centenary tribute

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by Ryan Kyle

Like many libraries at the moment, North Lincolnshire Central Library (NLCL) is gathering content from it’s historic archives to create a commemorative tribute for the forthcoming First World War centenary, in 2014. As part of this NLCL is planning to publish it’s historic WW1 era newspaper collections online, a project being made possible by our PastView digital archive management system…

Publishing NLCL’s newspaper archive online

Working in partnership with NLCL, TownsWeb developers configured a custom PastView installation to host NLCL’s digitised First World War newspaper collections, as well as designing a unique website to display the archive online.

NLCL’s digitised collections included over 800 editions of the Epworth Bells and Lincolnshire Star newspapers, published between 1911 and 1922; scanned as individual pages. TownsWeb Digital developers imported the 4,075 individual digitised pages into NLCL’s PastView installation, in addition to importing metadata (including newspaper edition and publication date) and the article text, which was captured from each image using OCR (optical character recognition) Software.

The developers then used PastView’s collections feature to arrange all of the individual images into “book” collection types; grouping the single page images from each newspaper issue into their issues.

Creating the archive website

Once the images and data had been configured in the PastView system, TownsWeb Digital staff began to develop the NLCL archive website. NLCL wanted the website to mirror the branding and style of the main North Lincolnshire Council website. Utilising some design elements from the North Lincolnshire Council website, TownsWeb developers were able to build a unique NLCL website that fulfilled this brief.

Making the online archive fully searchable

PastView’s ability to store the metadata and OCR’d text linked with each image allows NLCL Newspaper Archive website visitors to search through the entire archive in an instant.

Via the new NLCL website, visitors will be able to search the Archive by simply entering their keyword(s) into the search box. The website will then search through all the files and metadata within the PastView installation; and display results for appearances of the keywords in file names, collection names, image descriptions, transcribed text and more.

PastView’s unique “book” collection type will also allow Archive website visitors to browse through pages from a particular issue of a newspaper at the touch of a button.

This feature enables scanned pages from each individual issue of a newspaper to be grouped and displayed as collections, in order, on the NLCL website. What’s more, the website’s responsive design and magnify function allows users to move, zoom and navigate around the newspaper content effortlessly. Perfect in this world of iPads and other mobile devices.

Preparing for launch

NLCL’s PastView installation and Archive website are now complete, NLCL staff are currently using PastView’s content management module to add metadata content in preparation for sending the website live. The NLCL Newspaper Archive website is planned to launch later in 2013.

Click to find out more about PastView’s features. You can also give us a call on 01536 713834 or email

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