Tips and Tricks for Navigating the Digital Archives

Tips and Tricks for Using the AJHS-NEA Digital Archives

Logging in:
• Go to
• You can log in at the top right hand corner of the screen. You must have an OCLC user name and have provided that to AJHS in order to have access to both images and metadata. Without providing this information, you may still view the metadata, but all images will be restricted. To obtain an OCLC user name, go to and create a free user account, then email your user name, along with the collections you wish to view, to

Organization of collections:
• On our digital archives homepage, you will see a list of “collection buckets.”
• These collection buckets represent either a single, large collection (Jewish Community Relations Council, Bureau of Jewish Education, Combined Jewish Philanthropies) or a theme with several smaller collections residing within (Family and Individual Papers contain the Dewey Stone Papers and The Wyner Family Papers; Rabbinical, Synagogue and Jewish Education Papers include the Student Coalition for Soviet Jewry Records and the Rabbi Albert Gordon Papers.)
• When you select a collection bucket with multiple collections residing within, you will be brought to a landing page for that collection that includes links to the finding aids, and links to “suggested topics.” If you want to see only one collection within a collection bucket, you may select the suggested topic for that collection.
• If you wish to search across collections with a collection bucket, use the search or advanced search options at the top of the collection bucket landing page.
• For collection buckets that represent one collection, you will find a link to the finding aid and may search the collection using the search or advanced search options at the top of the landing page.
• Digital collections have been organized online to imitate the physical collection. Folders are uploaded as “compound objects.” This means that when you select an image and are brought to image viewer screen, to the right of the image there will be a content sidebar with pages in ascending order. You may click though these pages to view the contents of the digital folder in the same order as the physical folder.
• If you do a keyword search, the pages that have the keyword will be highlighted in the content bar.

Searching collections:
• There are multiple search options available to researchers.
• From the homepage, or from the landing page of any collection, you may do a general or advanced search using the search box at the top of the homepage.
• From the homepage, or from the landing page of any collection, you may do an advanced search and specify what collection, box or folder number, subject or keyword you are looking for.
• From the homepage, you may select a suggested topic and search within that topic.
• From within a search results page, you may narrow your search using search facets (located on the left-hand side of the screen.) You may also add or remove collections to your search (also located on the left-hand side of the screen) as well as delete search parameters on the top of the screen.
• Available to researchers are thumbnail images of the document, snippets of OCR text from the document, and the box and folder number of the document.
• When searching more than one collection, you may sort by collection name, number, box number or folder number; order these by relevance, and change your layout options (listed as “display options.”)

Features to be aware of:
• Web 2.0 Functions: you can tag and comment on images. For example, if you know who is in an unidentified photograph, you can add those names as tags and/or include them in a comment. These functionalities are available in the image view screen.
• Reference URL: for citation purposes, you can select the reference url option in the image view screen, and a url will be generated for you to copy and paste.
• Save to favorites: If you are logged in with a user name, you can save images to your favorites folder for later printing, emailing, or downloading.
• Print/Download: You may print or download a document.
• “View image and text” allows you to view the OCR text and image side by side.

Please don’t forget to cite!
If you are using our material for a paper or published material, please include the citation for the collections you are working on. Citations for each collection can be located on the finding aids, but here is an example:

Identification of item, date (if known); Dewey D. Stone papers; P-529 and P-529A; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

Additional Information
Copyright, Take Down, Fair Use and Citation Policies

Updated 7/16/2013

Download a PDF of Tips and Tricks for the AJHS-NEA Digital Archives

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