Explore by Title

Explore by Decade


This project is an experimental web interface to the Manly Local Studies Image library - a set of around 7000 images that document the history of the Manly area from the 1800s to the 1990s. The interface lets you explore the collection by title or decade. Its aim is to provide a rich, engaging overview of the collection, and encourage exploration and discovery without the use of search.

How does it work?

These interfaces present collection items in groups according to their title or date. Each group appears as a "tile" that gradually displays the images of records it contains. The size of each tile reflects the number of items it contains. Hovering over a tile will show details of the current image, while hovering over a tile's title will show a list of common terms in the titles for that group. Clicking a tile will open it, showing details of the records. Selecting an image will open a larger view, and provide links to the full record at both Trove and the Manly Library site.


Feedback is very welcome! You can reach Mitchell at @mtchl, or by email.


This interface was created by Mitchell Whitelaw as a part of a research project funded by the State Library of New South Wales and supported by the Manly Library. It uses collection data from the National Library of Australia's Trove API. The aim of this project is to investigate new techniques for presenting large image collections online. This work is part of our ongoing research into "generous interfaces" for cultural collections - for more information see the Visible Archive blog.

Technical Info

This is an experimental prototype. It will work best in a modern, standards-compliant web browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox, and it probably won't work perfectly on a mobile device (we're working on it).

The source code for this project is available under an MIT license over on GitHub.