Kaptur at The British Library

British-Library-by-stevecadman

Gateway detail, The British Library (1978-97)
by Colin St John Wilson.
Photo: Steve Cadman License: CC BY-SA 2.0

The second (official) Digital Conversations @ British Library took place on Friday 30th March, hosted by the Digital Research and Curator Team (more information in a staff newsletter available via ISSUU). The theme for the event was ‘Annotation and Sharing’. It was a privilege to attend this internal staff event, and also to have an opportunity to present Kaptur, with a focus at this stage in the project on sharing (the Prezi is available here: http://prezi.com/0m_ql5don6vy/kaptur-bl/).

Brief notes about the other presentations are below:

Jan Reichelt, president and co-founder of Mendeley – “a free reference manager and academic social network” – spoke about some of the current features (e.g. annotating PDFs) and possible future developments e.g. Kleenk – a visual map of connections between your paper and other papers, described as “the first semantic network of scientific content” it has integration with Mendeley through its API. It was also interesting to hear that Mendeley’s recommended article feature has around an 80% success rate with users (based on stats from the last year).

Richard Ranft, Head of Sound & Vision at The British Library, spoke about some innovative BL Sound projects:

The JISC funded eMargin project was presented by Andrew Kehoe and Matt Gee. It’s a great tool for “underlining and colour-coded highlighting [...] notes and comments” on a range of text file formats and sharing these across groups; it has features which are not currently available in other similar tools and the potential to develop further. The Birmingham School of Acting are currently using a specially developed version for iPad to annotate their scripts during rehearsals. The University of Leicester will be using the tool with their first year students from September. It is available here: http://emargin.bcu.ac.uk/

Debbie Harrison, Honorary Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London, spoke about the fascinating international collaborative David Livingstone Spectral Imaging Project, in particular focusing on the publication of Livingstone’s 1871 Field Diary: A Multispectral Critical Edition. The electronic publication enables researchers to compare the original diary (including pages written across 19th century newspapers) with later published versions.

Sean Martin, Head of Architecture & Development at the British Library spoke about the  International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to “collaboratively produce an interoperable framework for image delivery” and thereby address the issue of digital “image-based resources [...] locked up in silos, with access restricted to bespoke, locally built applications”. Previous Mellon funded projects that have led to this latest development include:

  • Shared Canvas – “enables the construction of views by distributed collaborators, by annotating a shared “Canvas” resource which is then rendered using a presentation system”
  • Open Annotation Collaboration- “development of a shared annotation data model supportive of interoperable annotations”
  • Digital Medieval Manuscript Initiatives – enabling interoperable environments for digital medieval manuscripts
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