Colecciones Especiales

This project is a web-based interactive viewer of the Special Documents and Collections from the Network of Libraries of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia. This network is the repository of various collections, archives and unique documentary pieces. These “special materials” have incorporated since the Luis Ángel Arango Library began its work in 1958. It currently holds a collection of materials of various types, themes, and historical and geographical coverage, which are invaluable primary sources for research, preservation, and dissemination of the Colombian cultural heritage.

Main screen of the interactive viewer.

The interactive viewer offers a space of exploration for all users, including students, researchers, and general visitors. It helps to address the institutional challenge of analyzing and describing the network’s documentary collection with the aim of facilitating consultation and promoting research. The viewer allows its users to find individual documentary pieces as well as collections of pieces, classified according to thematic categories and documentary types. Furthermore, it relates documents visually, generating multiple exploration paths through the data, based on the user’s interests.

The viewer was the result of several months of work with the team of the Virtual Library of the Bank of the Republic, led by Juan Pablo Siza Ramírez. As result of a careful process of UI research, design, and development, we arrived to an exploration tool that satisfies the needs of a wide range of users and supports both destkop and mobile access to the contents. This process is described in more detail in this blog post. The viewer was the popular vote winner in the Digital Humanities Awards 2020, under the Best Digital Humantities tool or Suite of Tools category. Below there are some additional images displaying different screens in the viewer:

Inital flow screen Main screen after selecting a document or collection Building a path through related connections Showing information for selected collection Common tags connecting two collections Menu with filter options Search results

Different screens of the interactive viewer.