Single Search for Library, Archive and Museum Collections

This activity is now closed. The information on this page is provided for historical purposes only.

A project to create guidelines for the implementation of single search for local aggregations of LAM collections.


Users are puzzled that they can search internet resources through a single search engine query, yet the resources of university campuses and cultural heritage institutions are often segregated into a plethora of silos, each with its own dedicated system and search. The aspiration of rationalizing search across rare and unique materials of institutional library, archive and museum (LAM) collections surfaced as a central concern at all five Beyond the Silos of the LAMs workshops, and in many subsequent presentations, events and interactions with the RLG Partnership.

Institutions large and small are starting to ask questions about how to optimally present their audience with the breadth of resources locally available. A recent OCLC Research webinar presented emerging practices in the local aggregation of LAM collections, with a particular emphasis on successful strategies and dead ends in the quest for single search. The webinar demonstrated that at this point in time, enough single search systems have emerged, and enough experience has accumulated, to allow us to take a step back and synthesize the hard lessons for the next phase of implementers.


This activity has laid the foundations for an informal network of LAM single search practitioners so they can support each other by sharing insights and strategies. The report from the working group laid out guidance for successful implementations of single search for a local aggregation of LAM collections.

Related work:


Most recent updates: Page content: 2011-12-21