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Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform

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Brief Overview: 

Completed in 1913, the Los Angeles Aqueduct was an engineering feat for its time, employing 5,000 workers who constructed six reservoirs and more than 200 miles of conduit. Still operational today, the Aqueduct has diverted water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to the people of Los Angeles for 100 years.

Given the Aqueduct’s rich history and continued relevance, UCLA Library maintains an extensive collection of Aqueduct-related materials as part of its historical documents library, called the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform. UCLA asked Bluespark to help make this online collection more accessible and searchable. Also, timing was important, as the Library wanted to launch the site in conjunction with events marking the Aqueduct’s centennial.

Bluespark dug into thousands of media files—photographs, legal documents, biographies, manuscripts, maps, timelines, and more—to lay the framework for the online, searchable collection. Combining design, user experience, and technical skills, the team defined a minimalist UI design that integrates seamlessly with the massive digital catalog, allowing users to easily access and search the collection.

In addition, Bluespark helped UCLA Library define their priorities in order to make the best use of grant funding for the project. By scoping out and planning for future enhancements and additions, UCLA was able to focus on their most immediate goals, keep the project on budget, and strategize for future development. Just as important, the project was delivered on time so the UCLA team had time to prepare for launch in time for centennial events.

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