Session 3E | This Is Fine: Pressing On With Planned Changes Amid Ongoing Unplanned Ones!
Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) is a consortium of over 70 archives, museums, and cultural heritage centers throughout Texas that provides a mutually-supported website for member repositories to upload archival finding aids. For over two decades, TARO has served as a free and open resource visited by hundreds of thousands of researchers per year.
However, its twenty-year-old website was long overdue for holistic redesign and enhancement. Funded by a NEH Planning Grant (2015-2016) and a subsequent NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Grant (2019-present), the project started in the Spring of 2020 with a complete overhaul of the website from the administrative aspects of accounts, security and file uploads, to the public interface and search functionalities. Upon overcoming challenges such as the global pandemic and a week long winter storm, TARO’s Steering Committee and numerous volunteers, alongside its institutional home, the University of Texas Libraries, launched the Beta administrative site in May 2021, followed by the public facing Beta website in July 2021. After months of planning, development, testing, and continued enhancements, the final website debuted in October 2021.
This presentation is a follow-up to last year’s reports, and will document the final stages of project development and implementation, collection of stakeholder feedback, usability testing, retiring the legacy website, and project wrap up thoughts. Also included will be ongoing and potential future challenges for the TARO Consortium.