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The Collation

Folger Tooltips: Digital Image URLs, part one

volvelle for pinpointing the north star

volvelle for pinpointing the north star

Hello Collation readers:

Today starts a new series of posts on URL behavior in our image databases, the Folger Digital Image Collection and the Folger Bindings Image Collection. You may remember previous posts providing guidance about URLs in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s OPAC Hamnet. Similarly, one of the benefits of the LUNA digital image database software is the ability for users to link via a static URL to just about any screen at all. Knowing how to create persistent and shortened URLs can be a time-saver as well as a useful way to organize your own notes or share your discoveries with others.

In this post you’ll learn how to link to a specific search, to a specific digital image, or to a zoomed-in detail; future tooltip posts will cover linking to a screen depicting an assortment of hand-selected images, to a “media group” of items pre-selected by you or someone else, and more.


Maybe this will be covered in Part 1+n of Digital Image URLs, but I’m nervous about the above instructions on how to “save a static URL to retrieve just one and only one of these images”. For example, I was just looking for an image of Fortuna, poised on a ball, because I think the Internet might be wrong, and that the phrase “on the ball” isn’t a contraction of “keep you eye on the ball” in rounders, but rather a reference to the importance of keeping your balance in order to have good fortune (which is what I want it to be, because I think sports metaphors are overused; note, however, that I found no verbal evidence to support this, so I just sent the Fortuna image link to the friend who had wondered about it and gave up).

But getting back to the point: when I copy-and-pasted to get a single image, as described above, the thumbnails in the upper right show ALL the images from the original search, so if my friend clicks on “thumbnails” she can see my original search (“fortuna” as a keyword) and its results. Not a problem in this case, but potentially embarrassing.

Does that mean that if new images with “fortuna” as a keyword are added to LUNA, following that static URL will bring up the main image as before, but MORE than the 93 thumbnails in the current result?

Erin Blake — August 28, 2012

Well gosh. I haven’t the foggiest idea!

However, it is worth noting in this context that the little thumbnail window can be a bit buggy depending on whether descriptive metadata in your search results includes such “webliographical” characters as ‘&’ or ‘/’ and so on: in such circumstances the thumbnails might just spin, never actually loading in that little thumbnail stripe on the upper right.

Now I realize that wasn’t your question but the fix I’ll suggest should feed both cats from one bowl, getting rid of both unwanted *or* unresponsive thumbnails from your detail view of a digital image.

That is: regardless of how you got to the item you’d like to link to, once there mouse over and execute a redirect search from the description on the left. E.g. you might try this: from your link, mouse over “Call number (PDI)”, select “Search Call Number (PDI),” and click through to your detail screen. Then grab *that* share this URL: This will at least narrow your search down to just digital images associated with a particular shelfmark. Alternatively, you might try one of the numeric searches, e.g. “Digital Image File Name (PDI).”

See how that goes, keeping in mind of course the Usual Caveats (e.g., user interface upgrades, browser (d)evolutions, &cetera).

Jim Kuhn — August 30, 2012

Glad to know I wasn’t the only one with spinning thumbnails, though I could swear it’s relatively new that it happens when using quotation marks to indicate a phrase in the thumbnail-view search box: after performing the search, the left-hand quotation mark turns into the html code for same, the right-hand quotation mark stays as-is, and the thumbnails do the spinny-arrowy thing. But maybe I’m deluding myself when I think that using quotation marks in the generic search box does anything in the first place.

Erin Blake — August 31, 2012

[…] Kuhn shares tooltips for using the Folger Shakespeare Library’s website to save and share images and details. Great for […]

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