Viewing Objects in Minnesota Reflections

Minnesota Reflections now runs on version 6.1 of CONTENTdm, database management software from OCLC. The Minnesota Digital Library provides you with this tip sheet to help you get the most out of the new features this software upgrade brings. We also provide tips on "browsing and searching," "special features," and "advice on newspapers." See the "special features" page for tags, comments, download, and print.

If you have suggestions for how to improve these guides, please contact MDL Outreach Coordinator Marian Rengel, mrrengel@stcloudstate.edu or 320-308-5625.

General Information

Clicking on the thumbnails or titles in search results lets you view individual photographs, maps, documents, and sound recordings. Our software treats simple objects (such as photographs), compound objects (such as diaries, journals, and publications) and audio objects (oral histories) slightly differently. All, however, are now similar enough to make learning to use one helpful in using the others. Explore!

Reference URL

To get a link directly to an object in Minnesota Reflections, look for the "Reference URL" link in the upper left portion of the window when viewing any object. (click image to enlarge)

Reference URL (a permanent link to use in research papers or to share with friends):

  • To get a link directly to an object in Minnesota Reflections, look for the "Reference URL" link in the upper left portion of the window when viewing any object.
  • You may choose a shortened, permanent URL for use in documents or email messages, or even posting on Facebook.
  • You may choose a link already formatted in HTML code to embed in a website.
  • For compound objects, you may choose a link to the full document or to a specific page.

Standard features in object view windows

The top of each page features:

Use the tool in the upper right of the window to return to your search results list or move to the previous object or next object in the results list. (click image to enlarge)

  • "Home" button.
  • "Browse" button for the collection in which the object your are viewing resides.
  • A search box for conducting simple or advanced searches from this page. Note: Searches from this box will be new searches of the full Minnesota Reflections collection.
  • A tool to return to your search (in upper right of window): featuring a "results" link and two boxes, one with a left arrow and one with a right arrow to allow you to return to your search results list or move to the previous object or next object in the results list.
  • The path of the object you are viewing.
  • (See the tagging, comment, download, and print help document to learn about the other features you see in the object page.)

Viewing Simple Objects – one-sided objects without text

From your search results, click on a thumbnail or title of a photograph, single-page letter, one-sided map, etc.

For example: a photograph of construction of the Coon Rapids dam across the Mississippi River from the Anoka County Historical Society's collection.

The image will appear on your screen at a size that allows you to see the complete photo.

Tools above the object allow you to:

Tools above the object allow you to zoom, switch to full screen view, fit to window, rotate the image, and more. (click image to enlarge)

  • Zoom: Click on the slider to zoom quickly. Or click on and drag the blue box to the right or left. Or click the zoom in (+) button to enlarge. Once zoomed in, you may click the zoom out (-) or zoom in (+) buttons to change the size.
  • Note: When zoomed in, simply left click on the image and hold down the mouse button, then drag the image to see other portions of the enlarged image.
  • Navigation thumbnail: The object window contains a navigation thumbnail, with the portion of the object being viewed highlighted in red. When you zoom in on a picture, the red box covers a smaller portion of the full image. You may move around the image by clicking anywhere in this navigation thumbnail or by grabbing and dragging the red box and moving it over the thumbnail. Click the arrow in the lower right corner to turn off this navigation aid.
  • Full browser (full screen) button: This opens a new window that contains the image and the zoom and rotate controls. There are also controls to allow you to view the objects in your search results. An arrow in the upper left corner of the image allows you to open the navigation thumbnail. The "back" button returns you to the main image view.
  • Other tools include: "Fit to Window," "Fit to Width," "Rotate Left," and "Rotate Right."
  • At the bottom of the window is a tool that allows you to increase or decrease the depth of the window.

Below the image:

A description and other information about the object can be found below the main view window. (click image to enlarge)

Clicking the "view description" link you see above the main window takes you to the fields below the main view window.

  • Description: Here you will find information about the object, including a description. We have arranged this in fields to help you learn about the photo you are looking at. This information has been provided to Minnesota Reflection by each contributing organization.
  • Note: If you want to know more about an object, contact the contributing institution!

Viewing a compound object – objects with more than one page or one-page text objects

Viewing multi-page objects in our new look, or objects such as one-page letters, is much easier than it was in the old look. It is very similar to viewing a simple object. There are, however, some very interesting features to help you get the most out of the object.

Click on the title or thumbnail of a compound object in your search or browse results.

For example: a letter from Amelia Coxe in the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society's collection.

You will be taken to a page similar to the simple object view page, but with these added features:

The compund object view page is similar to the simple object view page, but with added features like text view, text search, thumbnails, and more. (click image to enlarge)

  • Image: This window opens automatically when you first view a compound object. The main window shows you the first page of the object. Features in this window function the same as those for simple object views.
  • Text: Click the text button. Words replace the image of the letter or journal.
  • Thumbnails: View thumbnails of the pages in this document. When you search for terms in the document, thumbnails of pages containing the terms of your search become outlined in red and a red asterisk appears next to the pages.
  • Content: In this view, the table of contents appears as words. Search results are indicated in red below the title and features the number of times your terms appear on the page.
  • Description: Clicking the "view description" link you see above the main window, takes you to the field below the main view window.
  • Object Description contains the information about the document provided by the Contributing Institution.
  • Note: If you want to know more about an object, contact the contributing institution!
  • Description includes, the transcription of the page, so that you can easily read it. Here you also see the title of the page and the Minnesota Digital Library identifier for this specific page. Searching all of Minnesota Reflections for this identifier will bring you this page as the results of your search.
  • Note: Not all pages in documents, such as plat books, contain words, so there may be little information available by clicking on this tab.
  • Text Search: Click this button and this small window expands to include a search box. Type a term or terms you expect to find in this document. Click "go." Words in the document that match your search will be highlighted in red/gold. The search applies to the entire document, so you will see results highlighted in the Content list to the right of this view window. To close the search button, click on the "x" to the far right of this search window.
  • View Image & Text: Clicking this button, located above and to the right of the main image window, takes you to a new window. Here you can view the pages of a document without the distractions of other features. Notice that the Object Description and Description fields are NOT included in this view.
  • The text appears in a window on the left side of this screen.
  • The digital image of the page appears in a window on the right side of this screen.
  • A carousel below the view windows features thumbnails of the pages in the document. Arrows to the left and right allow you to scroll quickly through the pages. Click on a thumbnail to view that page.
  • You may Hide/Show the carousel by clicking on the button above the left side of this tool.
  • When you conduct a search, the thumbnail image of pages that match the search will be outlined in red in this carousel.