Small institutions or individuals, who are not tech savvy, often have datasets of collections that they want to make publicly available. For our final project we have two user groups: collection managers (CM), those who produce the datasets and want to make them public, and end users, those who would search the CM’s data. CM’s want to make their datasets public for many reasons. By making data publicly available, they often want their data to contribute to larger research as well as to show off the work that they have done in collecting it. End users, on the other hand, may want to access such datasets for research purposes in a domain they are familiar with, or out of curiosity for a new domain. A large barrier to entry for collections managers is cost and technological know-how. Many people who have small collections or who are trying to aggregate data from different resources cannot afford to pay for a sophisticated collection database as well as a web developer and designer. However, they might still want to provide a clean, simple, custom interface to the end users, to search through their collections.
We plan to build a system where, by uploading tab-delimited data files (or any commonly used data format), collection managers can create a custom search interface as well as data visualizations of their collections. They are able to customize a search interface for public use as well as add search options that cater to novice users. Additionally, a CM could more easily search their own data or find new meaning in their data through visualizations.