On November 24th, 2022 the State Archives of Canton Basel-Stadt and Canton St. Gallen launched the ‘Digitaler Lesesaal’.
Both archives are now offering each a new online platform for research, browsing and ordering archive material. The digital reading room (’Digitale Lesesaal’) facilitates and expands access to the archive.
During the early stage of the ‘digital access to archives’ project, Evert Ypma has contributed to the project and the team through research, open exploration and strategic and conceptual advice on digital service design.
After eight years of development the cantonal State Archive Basel-Stadt and State Archive St. Gallen each launched their jointly developed digital platform that gives access to the extensive archives (Basel contains 22 km of documents). Both archives host numerous precious and rare documents dating back hundreds of years as well as private archives and the files of the public administration.
With the digital reading room, the state archives meet the needs of a wide variety of user groups for simple and direct access to archive material – also on mobile devices. Via this platform the archives presents themselves as an open memory institution in dialogue with the public.
Parallel to the development of the online platform the internal usage and service processes were redesigned. The digital development for the Basel-Stadt State Archive also relates to the spatial developments of the new building that is currently being built.
In near future the digital reading room will have additional functionalities. Then, users can curate and store their online personal showcases and they can interact with other archive users. They also will be able to actively contribute to the improvement of the services of the archive since they become part of a digital community connected to the institution. It will also soon be possible for the first time to view digital documents such as databases in the digital reading room to freely browse, order documents and undertake research.
Service design project
During the early stage of the ‘digital access to archives’ project, Evert Ypma has contributed to the project and project team through research, organisation strategy and strategic and conceptual advice on digital service design. See for further information the consultancy project on digital service design conducted by Imagining Science from 2016-2018.