By , Sherri Berger, Program Coordinator for Digital Special Collections

The Online Archive of California (OAC) has a new look, advanced functionality, and significantly more content.  Visit it now at: http://oac.cdlib.org

New features
One of the most exciting new features of the OAC is the new design of the collection guide (also known as a “finding aid”), which enables users to effectively and efficiently navigate even the most complex descriptive records.  Using the interactive table of contents, quickly scan the collection contents or drill down into the level of detail you’re looking for.  With the new frame design, users can scroll through the entire guide while retaining context at the institution, series, and box levels.  And there’s also now a PDF version of the entire collection guide.

Researchers will be thrilled to discover the interactive “Browse Map” feature, which graphically displays institutions across the state and links to collection information. 

Users can now easily narrow their search result sets with new facets for date, institution, and online items.

New content
We’ve added more than 30,000 MARC records, providing increased access to California’s most valuable cultural and historical artifacts.

Changes reflect user needs
Every change to OAC came out of a specific need identified by our users.  We reviewed feedback, met with contributors, and performed several rounds of usability tests.  All of these activities helped shape the new site’s functionality and refine its look and feel.  The result is a flexible, powerful, content-rich OAC that meets the needs of researchers of all kinds.