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Friday, April 20, 2012

Historical Novel Society's New Site

Over on her historical fiction blog, Reading the Past, Sarah Johnson announced the complete reboot of the Historical Novel Society's website:

Under the guidance of founder/publisher Richard Lee, a small group of us have been working out the organization with our web designer, moving much of the existing content over, and inputting and categorizing a large number of reviews from the print Historical Novels Review magazine. 
At present, over 2400 reviews are online.  You can search or browse them by various criteria - author, title, subgenre, historical period, century, publisher, reviewer name, and more.  The newest material went online first, and we plan include the rest as well - since 1997, the HNS has published over 12,000 reviews of historical novels and selected historical nonfiction.  It's a big project! 
Many of the feature articles and profiles from back issues of HNR andSolander are also online, in addition to original content commissioned for the website.  The HNS's list of forthcoming historical novels is online too.  Coming soon is a special members-only section, with additional content, discount codes, and a place for members to post their website URLs, blog details, and more.  
I finally had a chance to head on over, and I have to say, I am quite impressed.  I rarely used the old site because it was cluttered and difficult to navigate.

This new site is clean and crisp with the review indexes clearly found in the top right corner.  I can now use the site to locate materials for my patrons quickly and easily.  When you click on a review search category, such as "Genre," you are presented with a tag cloud.  You then click a tag, like "epic" and a list of options appears.

I already have a few patrons in mind who I will use to put this newly renovated site to the test.  Nothing shows a resource's worth more than seeing whether or not it can answer a patron's actual question.

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