Case study: Leiden professors

Leiden University Libraries (Universitaire Bibliotheken Leiden) approached us to redevelop their Leidse Hoogleraren Vanav 1575 website, a site that includes data and portraits of all professors of Leiden University, from the foundation of the university in 1575 until the present day.

We worked closely with the Leiden University Libraries team to develop a user-friendly and accessible way for users to discover and engage with the collection. We migrated the site to a new platform that would support modern collection management standards and best practices, and also enable staff to manage and update the collection records.

Project Objectives: 

  • To create an engaging online collection for users to discover and explore, including discovery via advanced search, browse and gallery features.
  • To provide a workflow and interface for managing the Professors collection, including data updates, imports and maintenance.
  • To better integrate with the library’s digital collections and IIIF content and enable staff to manage this data in-house. 

We based the site on the Omeka-S platform due to its support of collection standards such as controlled vocabularies and IIIF. Omeka S also provides a user-friendly, lightweight interface for managing collections and is extensible and has an active community of users. 

We developed a custom metadata profile and controlled vocabularies to better integrate the legacy data. The advanced search interface enables users to browse the collection in different ways, including by date and by subject area. 

As well as data management and the migration of the approximately 2600 records to the new platform, this project also involved developing a clean, modern theme using Responsive Web Design and adhering to the Leiden University branding guidelines. 

The project included developing custom Omeka S modules which are now available to other members of the Omeka community.