Are you familiar with the Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan? I wasn’t until I started researching ways to integrate MARC records, EAD, finding aids, user tagging and interoperability.
The collections are amazing, but the behind the scenes peek offered by the articles on the About page will fascinate any librarian working on similar collections. Although a little outdated in the high-speed world of technology, the fact that this collection re-imagined traditional finding aids using metadata from EAD and MARC and a database of information about soldiers who served in the Polar Bear Expedition is innovative.
Special collections, especially online, should create connections for users enabling discovery through browsing and even happenstance. In addition, the social features, now commonplace in systems like CONTENTdm, were interesting choices for archival use.