A Digital Library site that puts users in the driver's seat

January 8, 2015
Peter Alexander Mangiafico

Revs Digital Library Site Home Page

The Revs Digital Library website contains nearly 200,000 images of automotive history (as of January 2015). As with other digital library sites, users can search and browse to find content that interests them.  

A search engine, however, is only as good as the data being searched on.  Since the website will eventually have over a million images, browsing to find the images you want is not a great option and good information about the images becomes critical. Interested in PorschesChevy's from the 1960s?  Mario Andretti, but only when he drove in the Indy 500?  All of these wonderful ways to find materials are dependent on having metadata, or information about the images.

The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida, has a network of curators constantly improving the information available, but we also need your help.  When browsing the site, users are encouraged to "flag" corrections to images by adding new information.  The flags are reviewed by curators, who then update the information about the image as necessary.  Users who are logged in and provide their email address can even get a message back when a curator has reviewed their work.  Top contributors are acknowledged on the website.

Since we can't anticipate all of the ways the images can be organized, we also encourage users of the Revs Digital Library to create a free account and build their own custom galleries.  A gallery is like a virtual exhibit built from images that you find interesting.  You can write descriptions for your gallery and for any items you collect, explaining why you found them interesting.  These galleries can span multiple topics and areas of interest, and are easily shared to help other users discover the breadth of content available.  We regularly highlight new galleries on the home page, and allow users to browse all of the public galleries. 

Thanks to our users, you can find images of famous drivers, cars with air cooled engines, wrecks and accidents, and plenty more.  There are currently 31 public galleries, with many more remaining private for use by the person who created it.

With an account, you can also save favorites, similar to your browser bookmarks, and even annotate parts of an image.  Your annotations become a layer over the image and are fully searchable.  You can use favorites and galleries to assist in your own research, and then make them public to share your work. Annotations are always public and attributed to you.  All of your activity is  saved on your personal profile page to make finding your work easier, and your entire profile page is shareable if you wish.

Take the time to explore the site, and we hope you come back often to find the new content we'll be adding soon.  We've even made that easier - just look for the "Added recently" section on the bottom left-hand side of the home page.