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Creating a collection

Currently n Falcon if you go to the ‘Add new’ popdown you will see there is both ‘Collection’ and ‘Collection (old-style)’. The first is the new version of collections and is what you ought to be using in your site: the second is required for the research directory, where the new type of collection will not work.

You can add a collection at the top level of your site, in a folder or you can have a number of collections in a folder and have them in the left-hand navigation if you like.

To create a collection:

  • You need to be in the place in your site where you want the collection to be, go to the editing bar and select 'add new...' > collection.
  • You then need to give the collection a short name and title.
  • Next thing is to give the search terms you want for the collection. In this case we want to add the criterion ‘Tag’, then the next box will give the list of tags available and you select the one that applies, in this case ‘staff-info’. A preview will appear below of what is being found:

By default the ‘Sort on’ field is ‘Sortable title’ but the following alternative are available:

  • You have the opportunity of adding text, images, etc if you wish, in the ‘Body text’ field. The text, images etc. will appear on the page above the list of items collected together.
  • You can limit the number of items returned, and if you are going to display the results as a table, you can choose what fields are shown:

  • Then save the collection.

Displaying the collection

If you look at the ‘Display’ popdown in the editing bar, the following alternatives are available:

  • 'Standard view' will be shown by default.
  • 'Summary view' is best when you want to show titles with links, and the tabular view is ideal to show certain information.
  • You may need to edit the collection again to show what you want in a table.
  • 'Thumbnail' view is ideal to show a gallery of an image collection.

Editing the collection

Once you have set up at least part of a collection you will need to assess whether it’s giving you what you need.

  • Taken in isolation, titles might not convey enough information and you may need to tweak them slightly.
  • For some pages you might want to add summary information to give further details of what the page is about.
  • If you are using a tabular view, you may want to look at what data can be presented.

Example: Using a collection to create an A-Z list

The a-z version of the academic staff directory on the page http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/directory/academic-staff was created using collections.

  • Within each person’s profile a tag was created for the first letter of their family name.
  • A collection was created for each letter of the alphabet. The display was for a table showing ‘Title’ and ‘Specialties’
  • The a-z bar was added to the body area of each collection and the links in the a-z bar were created to join all the collections together.

Example: Using collections to give topic-based information

On the UCS site a topic-based information list has been produced using collections (https://www.ucs.cam.ac.uk/topics). For each topic a tag was created and content on the site was tagged to add it to one or more appropriate collection. For some content a summary description was added to make the collected information easier to understand – for instance: