The Universal Viewer
A lot of online archives simply upload images as JPEGs or PDFs and leave it at that.
We’ve uploaded JPEGs into something called ‘The Universal Viewer’, which is used by institutions such as the British Library.
The Universal Viewer allows users to easily navigate between all the images on the website, in a collection (i.e., Matchday Programmes), in a volume (i.e., Matchday Programmes > 1920s), or in a document (i.e., Matchday Programmes > 1920s > Liverpool vs. Huddersfield Town - Saturday, 26th February, 1921). It also includes a deep zoom function, enhanced search options, and video embedding.
Using the Viewer
When you click on a collection—we’re going to focus on Matchday Programmes—you’ll have the option to casually browse its entire contents (on the left) or dig deeper via the volumes tab (on the right) if you have a specific item in mind.
Once you’ve found a document of interest, you can view it in three ways: as a single page view; as a two-page view; or as a gallery view. The two-page view is particularly useful for programmes.
You can scroll through images in three ways: by clicking on the thumbnails displayed on the contents bar (left); by clicking on the arrows at the top of the viewer; or by clicking on the arrows on either side of the image itself.
There's also an option to view the images in full screen mode.
The deep zoom feature allows you to pick out key details without compromising the quality of the image. Click on the plus sign to zoom in and the minus sign to zoom out. You can also zoom in by double clicking anywhere on the image and scrolling up.
You can rotate the images by clicking on the semi-circle arrow next to the zoom in and zoom out buttons.
All the images on the website have been subject to Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which means that you can search for words or phrases contained within the images. So, if you want to find every instance in which a programme mentions Huddersfield, just type it into the search bar at the bottom and press enter or click on the magnifying glass icon.
The results will be displayed on the contents bar and just above the search bar. On the images themselves, the relevant word or phrase will be highlighted in blue.
If you’re curious about the origin of or rights associated with the document you’re viewing, click on the arrows displayed on the right-hand side of the viewer. Doing so will display the document's information. Click on the arrows again to minimise the information bar.
Some items will allow you to download the images. Click on the download button at the bottom left of the viewer and select the image size you’d prefer. The image will open in a new tab. All you have to do is right click on it and select the download option.
Finally, you can change the viewers settings, including the language, by clicking on the cog icon located on the top right.