In our blog post this week, Senior Librarian-Manager Louise Birch introduces readers and users to our exciting relaunched Leodis photographic archive…
After twenty something years of the old yellowy-beige colour scheme and Louis Le Prince video we are long overdue an upgrade. The existing Leodis software was becoming outdated and had we left it any longer we would have had to shut the site down completely. Instead we rebuilt, and while it looks very different to the old site in essence we are still the same photographic archive site with the same pictures and playbills available to view. Today I’m going to take you through the site explaining where everything is and how to use it.
The address remains the same at www.leodis.net but when you get there you’ll find a whole new home page headed by the Leeds Libraries logo.
The new home page displays a large photograph, one of a selection that will appear when you visit the site. Next to it you will find the basic search bar ready and waiting for you to start a search. Below this you’ll find our live counter keeping everyone up to date with how many photographs Leodis hosts.
To the right of the search bar you’ll find a link to the Advanced Search, we’ll get to this one in more detail a bit later but for now we’ll stick with the homepage.
As you scroll down the page you pass through different blocks of colour, the first block is yellow and home to Pot Luck which replaces the old ‘Top 50’. Before this section brought you the top 50 most viewed photographs on the site, however this section didn’t change all that much and was dominated by city centre photographs. Now who knows what you’ll find as it’s completely random, allowing those lesser, or never before viewed photographs their moment in the spotlight. A word of warning though, if you click to view a photograph and then want to go back, your Pot Luck page will reload with a whole new set of photographs, our advice is to right click on the photograph you wish to view, and open it in a new tab instead.
Scrolling down you’ll find a black block and the Can You Help section, here are the ones that have us stumped! It could be the location, the date or something else, whatever the mystery we are asking for your help and this can be done by selecting the Post a Comment button and telling us what you know.
Underneath this you’ll find a white block and our final main section Latest Additions, here you’ll find all the new photographs we’ve recently added to the site, because Leodis is a living archive with new photographs added regularly.
Right at the bottom is the footer and in here are located quick links to all of our pages including the ones in the Help & Info tab. The Help & Info section holds a lot of information about the site and its functions, you’ll find the About Leodis and About Playbills sections along with Using the Site, Terms & Conditions and our Delivery & Returns information. Also here are our Contact Details should you need to get in touch, our Accessibility Statement and a tab where we will list some of the places our photographs turn up, from university projects to a British Library sound and vision blog.
Let’s move back up to the Search bar and try that out, here you can type in anything you like, an area, a building or your home address, and Leodis will bring you back any photograph with a text description or keyword matching your search. But searching this way can bring back a lot of results. If you’re looking for something more specific select the Advanced search option to the right of the search bar.
The first box lets you choose between photographs or playbills, what you choose will determine which boxes you are able to use.
With the advanced search you can specify location, a specific date or decade, the keywords you want included and excluded, and you can even decide if you want the results in date order or alphabetical. The more options you use the more specific the search will be and the fewer results brought back. The site can also be searched by an image ID number if known or restricted to a specific collection of photographs.
You search results page will look something like this. To see the photograph you just need to click on it, don’t worry though, selecting back will take you back to your results page.
When you open a specific photograph you will see the title and photograph. Below these is an option to Save to Album, Email Corrections and if we have permission to sell copies of the photograph, there will be an Order form on the right.
Below the photograph you’ll find the date, location and the photograph ID number with the description lower down. The descriptions haven’t changed and are the same as the old site. If the description is long there will be a show hide button to view more text, and then information on who owns the photograph copyright and the keywords we used to index it.
Now we get to one of our favourite bits about Leodis, the comments. What takes Leodis from being just a catalogue of photographs and raises it to a social history resource are the 40,000 visitor comments, whether its memories or in the case of the above picture someone’s father, these additions make Leodis a truly fantastic resource.
Now we’ve gone about as far as we can without signing up for or into a personal Leodis account. If you want to create an album, leave a comment or purchase a photograph you will require an account of your own. At the top right of the screen there will be a sign in/sign up option. If you had an account on the old Leodis site then it’s still here, you just need to sign in and confirm your email. You will be asked to create a username, for data protection and security reason this cannot be the same as your email address, and it is your username that will be visible if you leave a comment on a photograph.
Once you’ve signed in My account and View basket options will appear in the top right corner. The My account menu lets you access your album, your details, including your username, email and password, and the details of any orders you have.
The relaunch of the website has allowed us to create a site suitable for viewing on desktops, tablets and mobile phones as well as being more accessible for those visitors using screen reading technology.
As much as we’ve worked hard to create the new site to a high standard sometimes glitches and bugs don’t get spotted until hundreds of visitors all arrive at once. Please bear with us during our launch and if you spot something that isn’t working please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0113 37 86982.
We’re just a simple photographic archive, not a dinosaur amusement park – no one will get eaten if a link takes you where you didn’t want to go.
We hope you enjoy your trips down memory lane.
If you want to find out more about Leodis and some of our favourite images on the site, please book onto our event in April