New image search and browse features are now available at the Online Archive of California (OAC) http://www.oac.cdlib.org/ .

The image search and browse addition is part of a “soft release” since OAC will undergo a major re-design in early 2003; at that time, the site will integrate access to images, electronic texts (oral histories and documents) and finding aids.

The browse option is available from a link on the Image Search page.  This feature was developed as part of the Pacific Bell 21st Century Literacies Initiative at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Science.  CDL staff (Rosalie Lack and Brian Tingle) are collaborating with the UCLA research team to develop and test audience specific (for example various levels of K-12) webpages for accessing digital content.  More information about this project can be found at http://www.newliteracies.gseis.ucla.edu/.  As part of the project, a hierarchy of terms was developed and applied to organizing the OAC image collection. Currently the images are browsable by six broad categories: History, Nature, People, Places, Society and Technology.  This hierarchy system will allow for expansion, should the concept merit further development.

During the coming year, we will gather additional data about the utility of accessing digital content by doing formal usability testing of the integrated OAC website, and through the IMLS funded MOAC II project (mentioned in CDLInfo September 26, 2002.  MOAC II partners will use the new evaluation grant to examine the usefulness of digital resources for four selected user groups: K-12 teachers, University students, academics in the Humanities and Social Sciences and museum professionals, librarians and archivists.