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12.14.12

webpick of the week

The King Center Archive

Museum, Consumer

This showcase of never-before-seen historical assets is also an information-rich resource about Martin Luther King, Jr. and a source of visitor information about The King Center.

The interface is a synthesized, simplified series of primary tasks: About offers information on the history of Dr. King and about the center; The Archive hosts historical content; Learn promotes more educational features supplied by The King Center; and finally Dr. King Today is the news and events blog produced by the center's staff. The archive is the heart of the site and the landing page is a direct link to it through a snapshot of artifacts presented in a randomized tile display. Detail pages house written content inside a curtained tray that gives visitors the option of clearing the screen to focus on the artifacts. Sorting and search functions and detail views provide easy access and varied viewing options.

• On a very compressed timeline, the site was in development for four-and-a-half months with an unmovable launch date of the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Design and development coincided with archival imaging and population, which meant the team wasn’t working with a predefined set of final content. Additionally, the launch was highly publicized with expected massive traffic; the team had to simultaneously ensure that the site would hold-up to heavy traffic and that the copyrighted images would remain unsaveable on the front-end.

• The visual design is an extension of a traveling exhibit featuring The King Center Imaging Project.

• JPMorgan Chase, through its Technology for Social Good program, digitized more than one million pieces of history relating to Dr. King.

• Drupal 7 is the primary base of the website. For the Archive content, Drupal is linked with a database feed from Alfresco. The standards-compliant Zen theme framework for Drupal, provided the ability to create customizable layouts (specific to page types) that can be easily extended as new content types and functionality are added.

• Legacy browsers were supported through conditional stylesheets, ensuring that as many people as possible would be able to view the material on the site. Custom print stylesheets with copyright messaging superimposed as a watermark safeguard the intellectual property of the collection.

• Assets can be shared through email, Facebook, Twitter and Google. In development is a Dream Sharing feature in the spirit of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech; in conjunction with a companion traveling exhibit visitors will be able to share their dreams on sticky notes attached to the walls of the exhibit. The notes will be scanned and added online.

• Since launch there have been 734,973 visitors, with 2,126,154 page views, and 869,362 visits (including repeat visitors).

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