Blacksburg, VA - Kansas City Public Library's (KCPL) Civil War on the Western Border website launched last week and features a new Drupal website with a unique relationship visualization tool, both developed by VTLS. The website provides access to thousands of pages of scanned documents from more than 25 contributing institutions relating to hostilities on the Missouri-Kansas border both before and during the Civil War. In addition to these materials, the website will include articles written by Civil War scholars, shorter encyclopedia articles, a map, timeline and digital gallery. The dynamic relationship viewer helps connect all of these digitized documents in a visual way, with the goal to enhance interest and help the learning process. The digital artifacts are stored in KCPL's VITAL Digital Asset Management System.
"Integrating the VITAL content with a Drupal front end really allowed us to pursue avenues of information presentation that would normally be impossible or out of our reach. It really is a next-generation digital history platform," noted David LaCrone, KCPL's Digital Branch Manager. "The Kansas City Public Library is thrilled at the results of this working partnership. VTLS is certainly helping to position our organization as a leader in the digital history sphere."
VTLS created the relationship visualization tool specifically for the KCPL website, which is the first of multiple Drupal-based microsites planned for the library. The tool displays relationships between key people, places, events and organizations associated with the Missouri-Kansas Conflict during the Civil War. The connections between items are then justified by the library's digital artifacts such as diaries, letters and newspaper articles. These primary sources provide proof that the given relationships exist. Users can navigate the graphical relationships and retrieve the corresponding primary source material from the repository with a single click. The site allows users to access materials through the timeline of events, the map and the visualization tool.
"VTLS has been actively developing linked data solutions, including FRBR, RDA and Bibframe," said Dr. Vinod Chachra, President and CEO of VTLS. "The relationship visualization tool applies linked data concepts to manage conceptual relationships and provide links to digital content in order to justify these relationships. VTLS was delighted when KCPL gave us the opportunity to work with them to create this multidimensional tool to access and relate the artifacts. We see tremendous potential in this solution for other institutions to improve accessibility and provide researchers with the ability to visually navigate through their linked content."
About VTLS Inc.
VTLS Inc., www.vtls.com, a leading library automation company in business for over 30 years, provides visionary technology in library solutions to a diverse customer base of more than 1935 libraries in over 40 countries. VTLS provides development and support for Virtua, the premier ILS solution; Chamo Discovery, a facet-based social OPAC and data discovery tool; VITAL, our Digital Asset Management solution; Vorpal Solutions, Drupal development and support services; MozGo, our mobile app; and Fastrac RFID solutions for libraries. VTLS is one of the few ISO 9001:2008 quality certified companies within the library industry.