Huge stocks of books.

How to Create Accessible Archive?

17 July 2020

The museum is a place of preservation and reproduction of historical, cultural and social memory. By involving representatives of different social groups, ages, genders, nationalities, with and without disabilities, in the spheres of culture and education, museum institutions unite communities and develop society.

In 2020, we started working on the project “Touch of Memory” together with the NGO “Cultural Geographies” and Olha Sviet. Our goal is to adapt the museum’s work for people with disabilities. For the first time in Ukraine, visually impaired visitors will be able to learn the history of the Holodomor directly from primary sources: tactile photos created on the basis of the museum collection and memoirs of the Holodomor witnesses, collected during the “Oral History of the Holodomor” project.

All materials are developed by the NGO “Cultural Geographies”.

How to create an accessible online archive?

Each museum forms its own archive — museum collection. It is important that not only the buildings of cultural institutions are accessible to all, but also the archival materials posted online.

Here is what the Society of American Archivists recommends for those who want to make an accessible web archive:

  • Use the page titles and document file names that will be specified in the table of contents.
  • Use title tags (so that the page with the appropriate title can be easily found by search engines).
  • Make sure the tables have headings and structure.
  • Use proper form markup. Use descriptive text for hyperlinks (i.e. do not “click here”).
  • Make sure the content of the page is structured.
  • Make sure the content of the page is navigable when using the screen reader or enlarging the screen and using the keyboard without a mouse.
  • Provide an alt-text for all images.
  • Provide captions and typhlographic comments for audio elements and audio descriptions, as well as for video when needed.
  • Don’t rely only on color, font, and / or other visual cues to convey meaning.
  • Use sufficient contrast between the foreground and the background, avoid color combinations that are problematic for people who do not distinguish colors (for example, red, located next to green).
  • Make sure that the font size can be changed without affecting the content of the text.
  • It is important that documents have the option to scan them as text (rather than images) and use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to improve accessibility.