Discovery is updated on a regular basis to include new features and services. The updates follow extensive user testing and feedback and can be viewed by selecting a date below.

January 2014

May 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

September 2012

August 2012

May 2012

February 2012

November 2011

July 2011

Read our frequently asked questions for more information about the development of Discovery.

You can see some of the feedback we have received about Discovery on our Labs website.

January 2014

Progress and additional features

  • Simplified date displays on the search results page
  • Education resources migrated from the 'Your Archives' wiki as a-level tags
  • New method implemented for delivering and downloading digital images. Starting with selected collections Home Guard service records (WO 409), Indexes to Foreign Office general correspondence (FO 409) and First World war digital collections (see next bullet). This is ongoing
  • Uploading first phase of First World War digital collections (war diaries for the European theatre (WO 95) and Central Military Service Tribunal and Middlesex Appeal Tribunal (MH 47))
  • Ongoing bug fixes and improvements to the infrastructure and back end processes

May 2013

Progress and additional features

We have added 'sticky sort' - when you sort results by date or reference and apply filters, the sort order will remain.

February 2013

Progress and additional features

You can now:

  • sort search results by catalogue reference and filter them by the first letter of the government department
  • sort search results by their start date in ascending and descending order
  • pay for digital copies of records using your PayPal account

We have also:

  • designed a new look for Discovery
  • improved the browse layout
  • improved the guided searches on the most popular record series in Our online records
  • improved the advanced search logic on OR and NOT searches
  • added Discovery Help to every page
  • extended the description displayed in Browse

Bug fixes

  • Improvements made to the download search results feature

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December 2012

Progress and additional features

You can now:

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November 2012

Progress and additional features

You can now:

  • add up to 25 digital records to the shopping basket

Bug fixes

  • The data has been fully re-indexed
  • Browse:
    o navigation issues have been fixed
    o issues relating to icons on pages which displayed entries with and without children have been fixed 
    o links to the old browse view redirect to the new Browse view
    o breadcrumb layout has been amended

  • Tags:
    o links on the tag guidance pages have been fixed
    o all entries being searched for are now displayed in tag search box and tag browse pages
    o the words 'lesbian' and 'gay' have been removed from the profanity filter

  • Details about digital records ordered are moved from current orders to previous orders on user account pages after 30 days
  • Search results page displays the dates, references and former references searched for

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September 2012

Progress and additional features

  • Further improvements have been made to the download service
  • Improvements have been made to Browse, including a new browse in reference order

Other updates

  • The link to the Discovery project page is now available from the Discovery home page. The project page now includes release notes for all Discovery releases since the launch in March 2011
  • Recommended links: This tool returns selected research guidance as recommended links at the top of the search results. For example, if your search term is 'wills' the first hits are links to the various research guidance on wills. The list of subjects returned was compiled from a list of the top 100 search queries carried out on the catalogue, global search and Discovery

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August 2012

New records and processes

  • Home Guard records for Durham - descriptions, images and new process for ordering closed records

Progress and additional features

You can now:

  • save your search query by copying the url, to add to emails and web pages
  • bookmark pages and searches

We also have a new advanced search form, which allows you to:

  • separate reference search from former reference search
  • search for up to three references
  • search by date of opening search by closure status

We've added new filters on the search results page:

  • by date of opening
  • by closure status

Bug fixes

A number of bugs in the system have also been fixed, so you can:

  • search by former reference
  • download search results as CSV, HTML and XML files
  • search with numbers, which no longer automatically set up an "OR" search
  • search for alpha-numeric terms which are not references as keywords, i.e. MI5, MI6

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May 2012

The emphasis for this release has been to build the platforms and services ready for the replacement of DocumentsOnline with Discovery.

The former DocumentsOnline research guides have been rewritten and are available via Discovery and the website. To see these go to Our online records.

Progress and additional features

New features that were made available with this release:

  • search all records or just online records (formerly DocumentsOnline records)
  • toggle results between all and online records
  • download pdfs via the image viewer (on site) or add to your shopping basket (off site)
  • search for selected levels e.g. series that relate to France
  • where a search has only one hit the user will be taken directly to the details page rather than search results page
  • new delivery options including if a message for when a document is in use and therefore unavailable
  • a new filter to refine results by catalogue level
  • new online records guidance searches

Bug fixes 

  • Bugs with the former reference search have been fixed

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February 2012

There have been some fundamental changes to the look and feel of the site and some new data and features.

Progress and additional features

  • New design of the home page
  • Registration and sign in
  • Ability to tag records (once signed in)
  • 'Suggest a correction' form on the details page to make it easier for users to inform us of catalogue errors
  • Improved delivery options - these are the messages users see when they view a record description which informs them of how to access that record
  • Discovery connected to our on site document ordering system so that visitors and staff are able to order documents on site
  • DocumentsOnline data has been added and is searchable - this has added about another 9 million records to the database
  • New browse function and a new way of viewing 'collections', which includes pieces with items


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November 2011

Progress and additional features

Browse

  • New look to the browse function

Search results

  • Simple view option available

Advanced search

  • Search by former reference - by keyword, partial former references or wildcards

Record details

There are two new features on the record details page:

  • Tags
  • Suggest a correction

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July 2011

Progress and additional features

Advanced search function added, to enable users to refine their search.

Advanced search

  • Pre-select subjects
  • Search within i.e. WO, WO 95 
  • Boolean search 
  • Change number of results displayed

Search results page

  • Search terms highlighted on search results page

Details page

  • Additional fields included

Bug fixes

  • Fixed truncated titles on the search results page 
  • Fixed items that were not showing the description or title in browse view

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