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Search Log Analysis of the ARTstor Cultural Heritage Image Database

  • Author(s): Lowe, Heather Ann;
  • Advisor(s): Furner, Jonathan;
  • et al.

Search log studies are widely used to gain an understanding of how users interact with an information resource. However, of the studies that examine image databases, the information systems studied are image sites, local collections or general web engines. Few if any studies examine the way users search within a general art and cultural heritage image database. This thesis seeks to discover the types of queries users submit, whether these change over time, and if these differ depending on the user's institution type. Samples from the ARTstor search log were coded for uniqueness, category, and type of art historical information they contained. The results suggest that the way users query ARTstor has shifted over time but that they maintain a large reliance on art historical information. In order to further research on image databases across cultural heritage institutions, this thesis makes recommendations for further research and transaction logging.

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