National Archives / Today’s Document

The National Archives' Today's Document is available via iPhone, iPad, and Android Platform
National Archives / Today’s Document
Category: Education
Released: January 21, 2011
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android

Services Performed:
Backend Development, Database Integration, Minor Graphic Design, Project Management


The National Archives is our nation’s record keeper. Their vision is that all Americans will understand the vital role records play in a democracy, and their own personal stake in the National Archives. Part of that vision includes making sure that every American has access to the Archives. Previously, this meant having to visit one of their locations to look up records, photographs, films, and other material. With the advent of the Internet, much of the material is now available online. Realizing that many Americans are quickly adopting smartphones, they wanted to also make the material available to iPhone, iPad, and Android users via an app.

Today’s Document is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the US National Archives through a collection of 365 fascinating documents and photographs from throughout history. Learn what significant event happened on your birthday, search the documents by keyword, or browse the collection at your leisure.

The National Archives' Today's Document is available via iPhone, iPad, and Android Platform

App Features
  • Pinch to zoom and inspect individual documents and photos – each rendered as a stunning high resolution image
  • Swipe a document left or right to view the previous or next day’s document
  • Use the calendar icon to select a specific date or just browse documents at random
  • Tap the info icon to read fascinating background information
  • Add a document to your favorites list by tapping the star icon
  • Share documents via e-mail, FaceBook, or Twitter by tapping the share icon

Accella’s Role in Development

Download The National Archives' Today's DocumentAccella worked with DC marketing firm, Viderity, to create this mobile app. While Viderity worked on the graphic design of the app, Accella was busy coding away on Objective C and Xcode to create the iPhone and iPad version, while simultaneously working with Javascript to develop the Android version.

This app had a quick turnaround, the initial version was developed in a little over three weeks for the iPhone, iPad, and Android version.

The biggest challenge for Accella throughout the process was keeping the file size of the application below 20MB so that it could be downloaded over the 3G AT&T network.

Download the entire case Study to see how Accella worked around this problem.

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