Over the weekend, I took a glance at a website by the New York Public Library. This site is a digital collection, but the part that I specifically checked out is a collection of digitized files and papers from the Emigrant Savings Bank. It is essentially an archive of records from this bank during a time period beginning in 1841 whenever the Irish Emigrant Society was founded. This part of the website seems to be a very niche interest, but I think that anyone looking for information could find what they need in the records kept on it.
The site itself, as I’ve already stated, is a part of the New York Public Library’s site, so that is who it is run by. We know that the library itself is kept going by public funds and donations, but there are no specifics as to who digitized these records and created this part of the library’s site. We are left to assume that someone, (or some people), from inside the library took on this task.
Dealing with content, anyone who would want to access this part of the public library’s site would probably have to be interested in the Irish Emigrant Society’s bank records dating back to 1841, otherwise I don’t know who would willingly go through all of these files for no reason. The purpose remains the same as most archives, though; to create a digitized archive of public records.
As far as form goes, the library’s site did an excellent job of making the information easily accessible. On the home page for this part of the site, widgets can be found that take you right into the digitized documents. The design seems fairly original for this part of the site, but keep in mind that it is just a part of the New York Public Library’s site, so it definitely looks like it is. The site even has a small button in the lower right corner for feedback. If you ask me, it’s not needed unless you’re telling the library that they’ve done a good job taking care of this digitization that very few people and organizations want to take the time to do.