About Collection View


Why Collection View?

Collection View is in part an extension of my work on Search Workbench. Just as that project enables one to visualize PubMed results, Collection View allows you to visualize your Library of Congress searches so that you can get a better sense of what they are doing. Importantly, you can also directly compare searches to one another — facilitating the process of fine-tuning a search strategy.

How it works

Collection View summarizes your search results by plotting them on a couple of different data visualizations. In the first, raw numbers for each format are visualized as a stacked bar graph. In the second, searches using Boolean logic are visualized using a Venn diagram. This view is also available when you're comparing multiple searches. Finally, the proportions of items in your search for each format and each century are compared to the baselines for the collection as a whole.

For more details, check out my talk at Code4Lib 2021. Slides at osf.io. Video on YouTube.


Collection View is put together with JavaScript and jQuery. Search results are fetched with the Library of Congress's API.

Google Charts is used to draw the line charts, and Ben Fredrickson's venn.js overlay of Mike Bostock's d3.js performs the set visualization. Responsive layout is made easier with Bootstrap.

You can find the source code for this application at GitHub.


PubMed by Year is a project of Ed Sperr, M.L.I.S.

Ed can be reached at ed_sperr@hotmail.com or esperr@uga.edu. Please feel free to reach out with any comments or enhancement requests!


Copyright 2021, Ed Sperr. This software is provided under the terms of the MIT License. Feel free to borrow/adapt the source code as you wish, but be aware that things strictly adhere to the XKCD Code Quality Guidelines.

Please note that the information provided here comes ultimately from the Library of Congress and is subject to use according to their Legal terms and policies.

Feel free to use this tool as you wish, but if you use Collection View for publication, I'd appreciate a citation:

Sperr E. Collection View [Internet]. 2021 [cited your_date_here]. Available from https://esperr.github.io/collection-view/

See also...

Curious about how these techniques can be used for other databases? Check out the PubVenn, PubMed by Year and other cool tools at Visualizing PubMed.