May 25, 2012

Online Databases

Online databases are a great way for Historical Societies to promote both their collections and their organisation. 

Including records in a online database allows researchers to know about the range of items held by your organisation as well as specific items that may be useful for their research. In some cases the use of an online database may be the first time researchers become aware of the existence of your organisation. Researchers can then contact you for information on viewing or obtaining copies of items.

Participation in an online cataloguing project encourages standardisation of cataloguing in the use of fields required to adequately catalogue items. Using a thesaurus when selecting subjects makes it easier for researchers to locate items on a specific topic. One such online thesaurus is the Australian Pictorial Thesaurus.

Further discussion on this topic can be found here.


  1. The Victorian Collections website is a good example of this:

    Also Historical Societies should consider approaching their local Public library who may have resources to help. Heidelberg Historical Society, Nillumbik Historical Society and Whittlesea Historical Society have all partnered in past years with Yarra Plenty Regional Library for photos to be digitised, catalogued and placed on line for world wide access. This project eminated from the Picture Victoria project where a lot of images were gathered through partnerships with local history groups and public libraries and placed online. Picture Victoria is now a member of Picture Australia which can be accessed via trove.

  2. Thank you for the comment and advice which is much appreciated.