John Carter Brown Library
The John Carter Brown Library began as a private collection in 1846, today, the library contains one of the world’s most outstanding collections of more than 75,000 rare books, maps, and manuscripts. We made one platform to encompass them all.
The library has more than two hundred languages and spans over three centuries of early American history. The digital platform for this collection, Americana, is more than preservation, it is a collaborative space for knowledge sharing and expansion, it gathers the entire digital collection into a single repository that supports both directed search and more open-ended discovery. If an object has not been digitized, the platform documents its existence.
A living collection
Beyond its powerful search feature, the platform brings the Americana collection to life by empowering users to annotate, create projects, and publish research findings. It is a space that fosters collaboration and discussion which enriches the collection with additional knowledge. It is a space where curious minds meet.
Show me what I need when I need it
Since the platform offers many different sophisticated functions, it is crucial that the interfaces for these tools do not overwhelm the users. The user interface adapts to the task at hand and help the users focus on what they need to accomplish.
Stumbling upon an unexpected object is pivotal to the experience and research. The system is designed for this “accidental” discovery, starting with a dynamic homepage. The platform aims to push search to a new terrain, beyond the conventions. A visualisation that captures 75,000 objects as a whole, where browsing offers new form of search experience. This is a vision that will be rolled out in the future phases.