The UK’s National Archives (TNA) has switched off features now replaced by its Discovery catalogue.
TNA says: “Discovery, our new catalogue, will become the primary way to search our collections. We have now added more browse functionality to Discovery, which means that users can browse our collection by hierarchy or by reference, as requested by many of our users. For a more detailed explanation of using Discovery to browse our collection, read our frequently asked questions (FAQ).
“We want to gather feedback on the new browse feature over the next couple of weeks before we decide when we can switch off the old Catalogue. We want to make sure it’s as useful as it can be, so please try it out and let us know what you think – you can browse from any page of Discovery, including search results and descriptions. Please send your feedback to email@example.com.
“We are switching off DocumentsOnline this weekend, along with three other features on our website that have now been replaced by Discovery: Your Archives, the Equity Pleadings Database and Person Search. We’ve integrated the digital document delivery service provided by DocumentsOnline into Discovery, making it easier for users to search our records and download digital copies (where available), all in one place. Discovery also features an image viewer, which means that users can see a low-resolution version of a document before paying to download it.”
Personally, I go by the old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I thought DocumentsOnline was fine, and didn’t need any fixing. It seems to me that by rolling the record image-ordering website DocumentsOnline and the other features into their catalogue, TNA have made everything needlessly complicated. But I’m probably just a Grumpy Old Man!