MijnStadMijnDorp: The revival of cultural heritage through the online community

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The Case
Short introduction
With the use of modern internet technology, the Regional Archives of the province Overijssel (Historisch Centrum Overijssel) instigated the online community MijnStadMijnDorp (MyCityMyVillage). Through the compelling visual archives that can now be accessed by the general public, many historical events, photo’s, stories and films can be experienced in their full glory. Local communities, organisations and researchers not only have access the extensive archives but share findings and historical data of their own as well. Along with SchaapOntwerpers ,we enhanced a multitude of functionalities and implemented a completely new redesign, putting online visitors at the center of the rich cultural heritage.
Launch date
Regional historical centers have a wealth of cultural heritage, increasingly in digital form. Finding the hidden gems, that's what MijnStadMijnDorp stands for. Limoengroen and SchaapOntwerpers joined together to brainstorm what we could do to improve the existing MijnStadMijnDorp. Back to the basics, why does the site exist and why should you look at it? That is actually not hard to imagine.

SchaapOntwerpers made the schematic layouts for a number of crucial pages. Browse, search and especially a better perception of the images was the starting point. Wireframes and the first visual design were presented and discussed in joint sessions with the stakeholders. Feedback from all stakeholders of the Historic Center Overijssel was of the utmost importance. The historical associations and the relevant content experts also provided feedback and could bring their points of view.
MijnStadMijnDorp houses a wealth of special images and unique stories. Previously, they were hard to find and not always attractively presented. A better method for finding and presenting the material was a priority. You must be able to look, read and browse. In addition, it should be easy to place content, as an organization, but also as an individual. As a new addition, we can group content thematically and make connections between the items. This gives users a broader overview of the topics and tempts them to view more content.
A fresh, beautiful and especially user-focused community website now appears under the flag of Historic Center Overijssel. This means that both visitors who want to browse and researchers who want to search for details are even better served. The usability of the site has improved and the entry of new items is even easier. The new design of theme pages and the existing groups of pages results in clear showcases of the beautiful material.

In February 2017 MijnStatMijnDorp won 5th place in the Geschiedenis Online Prijs (History Online Prize).
Technical challenges
Showing relevant and accurate suggestions is one of the key features that MijnStadMijnDorp is based on. It is also possible to respond to content and join groups that represent the various target groups of the Historic Center Overijssel.
Challenges in (combination of) modules
For a quick search of the Open Atlantis collection management system, a customised integration was created that displays search results with images. Participants can create theme pages based on a shopping cart principle that enables them to collect interesting material at MyStadMijnDorp and present them as a whole. It is even possible for the editors to add new theme pages as for example search results.
Name client
Historisch Centrum Overijssel
What does the client think about the project?
“The attention for proper requirements by stakeholders is a very powerful advantage of the LimoenGroen and SchaapOntwerpers partnership. The extra investment that is required to get such requirements, is earned back twice by the mere speed of their development with wonderful end results.”
— Bert Nielsen, ICT specialist, Historisch Centrum Overijssel