The National Trust and e3 Media are proud to announce the re-launch of The National Trust Collection site.

National Trust Collection Homepage dog

We've been working with the National Trust for seven years, and we originally built the Collection site back in 2010. Our technical solution then was based on the development of ASP.NET website running on the Umbraco CMS open-source CMS (E3 is an Umbraco implementation certified partner).

To manage the vast data behind the collections, we designed a SQL Server database containing around 7 million rows. The data is imported from an XML extract from another system, and a partial import is run nightly to keep the database in sync. The data includes categorization of every object (such as material, maker, technique, etc.) and its location down to which room in which property it is being held. We designed a faceted search system powered by full-text indexing and full-text queries to provide fast scalable searching of the database. Object images are stored on National Trust’s image storage server and their URLs are imported from the image management application. 

National Trust cat

Due to access requirements zoom imagery is encrypted to make it difficult for users to obtain the raw hi-res imagery so for those interested ordering an image of the artefact there is a cost.

A technical audit this year highlighted the back end code and integration with the collections management system is robust and stable, it was the presentation layer that required updating to provide a responsive platform for growth.  

National Trust Collection

We rebuilt the site with the typical National Trust members in mind, but we also made sure it was useful for anyone interested in historical artefacts and those who were thinking of visiting a National Trust site to view an artefact or a collection.

In order to complete this in the most cost effective and time efficient way our UX, Design and Front-End teams took a very collaborative approach - working together from the start of the project to design and build iteratively. In addition to Front-end development fast following the start of the design, testing has been completed continuously, integrating any feedback into the development sprints.