1: Before You Start

Keep in mind that SearchWorks is the main discovery and delivery platform for all content in the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR). In contrast, Spotlight offers a supplemental set of tools to showcase selected content in the SDR, and the ability to selectively integrate both textual context and non-SDR content to help highlight a specific set of SDR content.

Exhibit concept and layout

Who do you anticipate will be the users of your exhibits site? What content might they be most interested in? Keep these things in mind when you review a few exhibits, as it will help you make choices regarding default item display, search, and the extent and nature of context you provide.

A great way to get ideas for your exhibit is to see how other exhibit creators have put together their exhibits. Be sure to browse through some of the more than 98 completed Spotlight at Stanford exhibits to see the wide range of ways your colleagues have used to highlight the amazing digital collections held at Stanford University.

The basic structure of an exhibit includes a home page, browse page, an about page, and optional feature page(s). Take a look at several exhibits on exhibits.stanford.edu and make a note of the page layouts you like that might work well for your content. A few different examples for each page type are listed below.

Home pages

Maps of Africa: An Online Exhibit
Digital Forma Urbis Romae
Herbert Matter: Modernist Photography and Graphic Design

Browse pages

Images of Rome
The Bob Fitch Photography Archive
Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison

Feature pages

The American Enlightenment
Research from Stanford University
Rare Music Materials at Stanford

About pages

Secret Service: Old and Young King Brady, Detectives
Stanford Stories From the Archives
The Monterey Jazz Festival Collection

Have you thought about the exhibit text you will write? It is best to draft in advance, and this is something you can get started on in cases where the content is in the process of being added to the SDR.

Content and metadata

Is your exhibit content in the SDR? Has all of the metadata been added to the items in the SDR? These tasks often represent a significant time investment, and need to be planned and scheduled ahead of time.

Display of metadata in Stanford exhibits depends upon how specific metadata fields are mapped for indexing and viewing – sometimes constraining the display of selected fields. Stanford Libraries maintains extensive documentation for this purpose, and staff are available to consult upon request. Please reach out to your metadata contact, project manager, or contact the exhibits service team if you have questions.

Also, in early 2018 a new feature was added to Spotlight which enables the display of additional metadata on a per-item basis. The additional metadata can be accessed on the Item Details page by clicking the more details button. Full metadata is always available on the persistent URL (or PURL page) for all items in the SDR.

Planning and scheduling

As you are planning your exhibit, think about when you would like to publish. The timeline to complete your exhibit will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Is your content in the process of being added to the SDR, but not there yet,
  • Extent of metadata completeness (descriptions of your content in the SDR, used to create browse categories in Stanford exhibits),
  • The time it takes you to build your exhibit pages, and
  • Review of your content by a member of the Stanford exhibits service team is preferred prior to publishing.

If you know there are time constraints related to your exhibit, (e.g., high profile donor demo), please give the Stanford exhibits service team a heads up as early in your exhibit building process as possible, but no later than 4 weeks prior to your intended publication date.

When you are ready to publish, please contact the service team so we can perform a pre-publication review. Please allow at least one week for the review and be aware any problems or issues identified will need to be resolved prior to publication.