Another step forward
Trove version 6.1 brings some exciting new features
28 May 2014
This morning we upgraded to Trove version 6.1 – the first in a series of significant changes in Trove’s 5th year. In case you didn’t spot the difference right away, there are some exciting new features to ramp up your searching in the newspapers zone, a new help system, some big upgrades behind the scenes, and fewer of those niggly bugs.
Newspapers advanced search
Let’s start off with Digitised Newspapers zone. If you did notice a change I bet it was our Advanced Search form. With the new title selection tool, limiting your search to newspaper titles from a single state just became a whole lot easier. All states now show immediately – no more scrolling down that very big list. Just check the box next to the state you want and you’re away. If you only want some titles from a state, say, Western Australia, click the blue ‘Show Titles’ link to expand the list and select your chosen few.
At the top of the title selection tool there's an unassuming 'Show Filters' link. Click on it and meet one of the niftiest features of our upgrade – title filtering. You can now filter the complete list of newspaper titles by word and date range.
Only want newspapers that have ‘Herald’ in the title? The Sydney Morning Herald, Colac Herald, Zeehan and Dundas Herald… and more? Type 'Herald' into the Filter box and the list will update as you type, showing how many titles from each state have the word 'Herald' in the title.
Only want to see newspapers printed between 1850 and 1900? Drag the small slider to limit your range even further and notice how the number of available titles changes. See our Help documentation for more on working with these filters.
Refine your results
Beyond the Advanced Search form there are other changes afoot. On the left hand side of your search results in the newspapers zone there have always been facets that help you refine your search. As of today there is a new one at the top of that list – State. Click ‘Queensland’ and you’ll only see articles from newspapers printed in Queensland. Another great way to refine your extended searches.
Finding uncorrected articles
Here’s a little gem for the digitised newspaper correctors – try adding 'has:corrections' to the end of your next search and you’ll only see articles that have been previously corrected. Now turn yourself into a power newspaper searcher and make that '-has:corrections' (or 'NOT has:corrections'). Suddenly you’re only seeing articles that have no corrections at all. Judging by the number of requests we’ve had for that feature, we’re guessing it’s bound to be a big hit.
Under the Trove hood
The major driving force behind Trove version 6.1 is to kick-off the redevelopment of the Trove Digitised Newspapers zone. Way back in 2008 the 'Australian Newspapers' system was designed to hold 4 million digitised pages. The service turned out to be a lot more successful than we could have dreamed and it’s currently holding more than 16 million pages. Then there's text corrections. We designed the system for a small number of text corrections, but we now see more than 150,000 a day! This phenomenal growth has produced some frustrating side-effects – we’ve all noticed slow response times, searches that never return a result, and outages we wished had never happened.
For a more consistent search experience we needed a much more stable platform to handle the current 126 million+ articles, and the many more we expect to come – including big titles like the Age. Add to that all the new tools we're planning to enhance your newspapers experience, and the need for a major upgrade was clear. For the technical people we’ve moved from Lucene to SolrCloud. To everyone else, everything's just looking a lot better under the hood.
Changes to other Trove zones
Not all the changes are in the Digitised Newspapers zone. We’ve also done some important housekeeping around the other zones. Take a look at the Archived Websites homepage for a link to the new Australian Government Web Archive, or the Journals zone where the ‘Refine your search’ Decade facet on the left hand side is now in chronological order.
If you’re a library cataloguer you might be interested that the 510 $c is now displaying in the ‘Cited in’ field on a work record.
Take a look in our Forum post for a complete list of the changes that came with Trove version 6.1.
Bugs we’ve squashed
Then there are the bugs – those little system errors that get in your way. The new Advanced Search form and State facet will solve the problem people had searching across all NSW or Victorian newspapers. Our post in the Trove Forum describing a workaround for that particular issue received more than 2000 views and yet we still had lots of users contacting us in a panic, so we knew getting that one fixed was a high priority.
All up, thirty-five of the most important bugs and issues that were reported by you, our users, were fixed in this upgrade. We hope your experience with Trove today is just a little bit better because of it.
And after all that, there is our glorious new Help system. Check back next week for a full introduction.
[This post was written by Trove Support Leader Julia]
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