Library and Archives Canada’s soon-to-be-launched new website was created with users in mind

Yesterday I had a sneak peek at Library and Archives Canada’s new website. I like what I saw.

The preview was presented during an online meeting with representatives from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and several guests.

When a website is redesigned, I’m usually concerned there will be a learning curve. At first glance, that doesn’t appear to be the case with LAC’s new site, although I won’t know for sure until I’ve had a chance to explore it.

LAC will likely launch the new website within a few weeks.

The website has been completely redesigned and rewritten from scratch, all with users in mind. The text is concise and written at a grade eight level.

Overall, the website looks cleaner, making it easier to navigate. LAC wants users visiting the website to be able to quickly find the collections they need.

There are three main topics: Indigenous history, military history, and family history/genealogy.

There will also be an Indigenous genealogy section. If a similar section exists on the current site, I’ve missed it. Sub-sections, such as Inuit genealogy, should be easy to find on the revamped site.

The search tools have been improved, and users researching the genealogy databases will benefit.

The popular Finding Aid 300 about all the pre-Confederation censuses has also been given a make-over.

For the launch, the team has given priority to the most-consulted content, and will continue to update the site afterward.

LAC’s new home page will have a new address. If your organization’s website or your own website has a link to LAC’s home page, you’ll need to change the URL. It’s my understanding that the URL for individual collections will remain the same.

More info to come
To learn more about the new website, watch for upcoming blog posts and podcasts. The blog post, Improving your online experience: What to expect at LAC’s new online home, is the first in a series intended to provide information on what we can look forward to seeing.

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