ABSTRACT

A website provides a great opportunity for an archives to serve researchers. Good website design is essential for good service. This article addresses the website components needed to enable researchers to prepare for on-site visits, compiling them into an Archival Research Preparation Online (ARPO) Index. The nine components include Ask Questions, Browse Holdings Information, Search Holdings Information, View Search Results Information, Accumulate Selected Information, Save Selected Information, Review Information about Planning a Research Visit, Schedule a Research Appointment, and Request Materials for an Appointment. Describing each of the index's components details how a website is evaluated and scored. The companion online assessment tool provides the opportunity for individually reviewing a public-facing archival website in terms of content intended to assist researchers. The resulting summary report provides documentation an archivist can use to generate support for and guide a website redesign.

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