Olmsted Research Guide Online (ORGO) Phase 1 - Document Cover

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In FY2000, the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (Olmsted NHS) and the National Association for Olmsted Parks (NAOP) completed Year One of a three-year NCPTT grant project to develop a new Internet-accessible database of information about the landscape design records for projects undertaken by Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. and the Olmsted firm. Project objectives completed in Year One included the following: evaluate requirements for the database structure and fields, develop and program the database structure and screens using the results of this analysis, establish procedures and schedule for direct data entry, convert existing electronic data related to the Olmsted Archives holdings to the new database, and begin research and collection of data from the Library of Congress.

Through a series of working meetings beginning in October 1999, the project team discussed the information needs of the research community and the access needs of the holding institutions in determining the requirements for the database structure and fields of information Following these discussions, Re Discovery Software, Inc. reconfigured ANCS+, the National Park Service’s automated national catalog system, to meet the specific needs of this project. The project team developed a prioritized list of collections to be included in the database and a three-year schedule for data collection and data entry. Research assistants were hired to begin data collection and data entry at the Library of Congress By the close of Year One, data entry of basic information about two priority collections was included in the database: the Photograph Albums Collection from the Olmsted Archives and Series B Correspondence Collection from Library of Congress; records from a portion of the Plans and Drawings Collection of the Olmsted Archives have undergone conversion to ANCS+.

The Olmsted firm shaped major portions of the urban landscape in cities across the country. Interest in the study of these landscapes has accelerated over the past few years resulting in a significant increase in research requests at repositories with Olmsted related collections. The new database will include updated and more comprehensive information about project-related records held at various repositories, primarily the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (Olmsted Archives) and Library of Congress. It will enable researchers to perform searches of information concerning design projects in collections of Olmsted firm records. As a result, researchers will be able to make more informed research queries, thereby streamlining the overall research process. Year Two tasks will expand the current database to include additional priority collections and make this information available through the Internet.

Related Products: 2001-07 Olmsted Research Guide Online (ORGO) Phase 2

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