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Case study:Indexed search and NLA Trove integration

6 July 2021

The Canberra & District Historical Society have a large collection of books, pamphlets, photos and audio files covering the history of Canberra.

Our task was to create an online searchable interface as well as a website for browsing the content. And of course a system for importing and updating the data.

For the search we have used Sphinx which is a powerful stand-alone indexed search engine. It scans the database on a regular schedule to update a searchable index which can be queried through the website.

We have used Sphinx for a number of projects where the requirements include indexing large amounts of data, searching and filtering by different fields, and returning results in order of relevance based on customisable weightings.

A secondary requirement was to enable indexing of their catalogue by NLA Trove which is an online research portal drawing data from hundreds of partner websites.

For this we have configured the website to generate and publish a new XML sitemap on a nightly basis and at the same time embedded Dublin Core meta data into the resource pages making them readable by Trove.

The website has since been awarded an ACT National Trust Heritage Award.

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