One of the biggest changes in the new site structure is the use of Taxonomy Terms to organize and filter the content. Taxonomy allows all of the displays where the listings can be filtered by location, type, or decade. It also allows new Views or groupings of listings to be displayed in an almost endless combination.
Throughout the site there are a number of fields in the form of check lists, selection lists and auto-complete text fields where terms like the location, role, type, etc... can be selected to tag the content. Think of it like hash-tagging or other forms of tagging. Basically what you are doing is cataloging the content.
In past builds of the Archives, the site relied heavily on the location of the creation of the content using the book module. So for example, if it was a band from Iowa City that formed in the 1960s. Then you would have to navigate to Iowa, then to Eastern Iowa and then to 1960s and at the bottom of a list there would be a drop down box to add the content. I was pretty much locked in to displaying links to content in long lists based on State, Region and Decade. If the user posted the listing in the wrong location, I would have to often re-enter the information to insure that it got in the right list. If I wanted to display the content in a different way then I would have to create a completely new book structure.
With the use of Taxonomy, I can take content that is tagged by state, city, decade and then using the view module, display the grouping of content in a number of different displays. For example lets say that I decide I want to display all of the guitars that were active in Des Moines, Iowa during the 1960s. Then all I need to do is create a view that includes all the contributor listings with the taxonomy terms Iowa+Des Moines+1960s+Guitar and it will display just those contributors. Also the views can be displayed in a number of different ways including filters.
That is why it is extremely important that the members of the site, select the terms and do it correctly. Without the terms, the listings are not included in the views or on any of the lists in the site. So, no one will find the listing.
Also, the terms create links and when they are clicked on will display all the content that has been tagged with that term.