One of the neat things I thought Ancestry.com did, starting in about 2012 and up to the latest "New" Ancestry.com changes in June 2015, was to provide a "Breadcrumb Trail" for digitized images of records so that a researcher could find the specific record while browsing a record database by following information in a source citation.
1) In 2012, I made this record image for the marriage of Sophia Buck and Lambert Brigham in 1816 in Sterling, Massachusetts:
This specific record database has millions of indexed records from thousands of town record books in Massachusetts that were digitized from the Holbrook microfiche collection. It is absolutely necessary to know which town record book the record came from - the town, and the record book number.
For this record, I crafted a source citation for the marriage of Sophia Buck and Lambert Brigham as:
Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 September 2012), "Sterling Births, Marriages and Deaths," Marriages, page 261 (penned), image 231 of 1007, Sophia Buck and Lambert Brigham entry; citing original data in: Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Provo, UT: Holbrook Research Institute (Jay and Delene Holbrook).
Note the "Breadcrumb Trail" in the source citation (highlighted in Bold). That is how someone who saw this source citation would find the exact record image by Browsing the record database.
Ancestry.com changed the "look" of the record image page and the Breadcrumb Trail in early 2015, but it retained the feature at the top of the image and moved the image number information to the bottom of the image.
2) Now, after the June 2015 "improvement" to the "New" Ancestry.com website, the same record image looks like this:
Note that there is no "Breadcrumb Trail" above the record that tells the user which town and record volume the image is from. The record image number ("231 of 1097") is an overlay at the bottom of the image. There are also icons on the right-hand side of the image for "Full Screen," "Record Information," "Tools" and "Zoom In and Out."
When the second icon for "Record Information" is clicked, the information box appears on the right-hand side of the screen. There are three tabs - for "Details, "Related Content" and "Source." The "Source" information tab looks like this:
And there is the "Breadcrumb Trail" information - the Town and record book title, and the Ancestry Source Citation.
So now, in order to find the "Breadcrumb Trail" information for an Evidence Explained quality source citation, I have to click two more times (once on the "Record Information" icon and then on the "Source" tab) from the record image to find the information that was provided on the record image page before.
There are many record databases in the Ancestry record collection that have these new "feature" changes. This record database is not unique.
This is a significant change, and is not, in my humble opinion, an improvement to the Ancestry.com record image experience. It makes my task more difficult.
3) Frankly, Ancestry.com should include the "Breadcrumb Trail" for record databases like this in their own Source Citations. The Ancestry.com source citation for this specific record is:
Ancestry.com does not provide source citation details for these records - they only provide the master source information, and the original data. The source citation detail for this specific record should identify the date accessed, the town, the record book, the page number, the image number, and the persons in the specific record.
How many users will even see the icons on the right-hand side of the image? How many users will take the time to craft an Evidence Explained quality source citation?
4) Rant OFF. I feel better now, but I'm still frustrated by "improvements" that make my life's work more difficult.
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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver
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