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Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
Digitising Darwin’s Library
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Digitising Darwin’s Library

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  • Illustration shows some of the books Darwin carried with him on the Beagle voyage Thank you to Grant for his work on this presentation and he is sorry he cannot be here today.
  • One of the key sources of ‘data’ for Darwin was his library, which he heavily annotated. Out of a library of 1400 volumes, 700 have significant annotations. Apart from a handful of exceptions, all the annotated books are held at Cambridge University Library, with the remainder at Down House His annotations were transcribed and published in print in the late eighties, but their full utility requires access to the books they annotate – and some of the books on Darwin’s shelves were quite obscure It would be very costly to digitise every page of every book in Darwin’s library
  • One of the key sources of ‘data’ for Darwin was his library, which he heavily annotated. Out of a library of 1400 volumes, 700 have significant annotations. Apart from a handful of exceptions, all the annotated books are held at Cambridge University Library, with the remainder at Down House His annotations were transcribed and published in print in the late eighties, but their full utility requires access to the books they annotate – and some of the books on Darwin’s shelves were quite obscure It would be very costly to digitise every page of every book in Darwin’s library
  • We propose to link the transcriptions with digitised versions of books We will fully digitise the most heavily annotated original books; and just target the annotations in lightly annotated books and link in with digital surrogates Storage and delivery will be provided by the Biodiversity Heritage Library, which will ensure wide resource discovery and provide good sustainability Via BHL also linked to other iniatiitives including Europeana Challenges such as IPR/Copyright, long term sustainability etc already being address by BHl, Europeana etc and so benefits from linking Darwin Library Project to those
  • BHL, original group US and UK institutions, Natural History focus to collections and research. Part of larger initiative Encyclopedia of Life From may 2009 BHL Europe – scanning activity in each EU country funded nationally. BHL_E funding from EU 3.5 Million Euro, to fund technical infrastructure – long term sustainability, interoperability, standards, etc Darwin Library fits into overarching goals of BHL
  • This illustrates an annotated page from one of Darwin’s books (Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, 5th edition, 1837). Darwin’s comment was “if this were true adios theory’! Obviously useful to know the context of such a comment
  • This illustrated the other significant context. The collection will be placed within the BHL – here’s a mock-up of how it might look, but the technical details are still being worked through.
  • We’re still working on the numbers, but we should be able to do 300-400 books within this project. We will fundraise to do the remainder The project will also seek to extend beyond Darwin’s Library to Darwin’s Reading, but including (where available) copies of books he read and made notes about.
  • Transcript

    1. Digitising Darwin’s Library Jane Smith, Natural History Museum Grant Young, Cambridge University Library Presentation for JISC Programme Meeting, October 2009
    2. The background <ul><li>One of three projects funding under Phase 2 of the JISC – NEH JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitisation Collaboration Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Starting September 2009; completing February 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Uni of Cambridge awarded £103,000 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/projects/darwinlibrary.html </li></ul>
    3. The challenge <ul><ul><li>A key source of ‘data’ for Darwin was his library – heavily annotated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annotations published in late 1980s, but full utility requires access to the books they annotate – some quite obscure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It would be very costly to digitise his entire library </li></ul></ul>
    4. The idea <ul><li>A partnership - an initial idea from David Kohn </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing digitisation programmes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiatives developing and delivering access to biodiversity and cultural/heritage collections </li></ul></ul>
    5. A solution <ul><ul><li>Link transcriptions with digitised books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For heavily annotated books – scan whole volume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For sparsely annotated books – just scan annotated pages and link in with digital surrogates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Store and delivery content with Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), to ensure wide resource discovery and good sustainability </li></ul></ul>
    6. Our partnership <ul><ul><li>Cambridge University Library (CUL) will scan Darwin’s Library books and pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural History Museum (NHM) will provide suitable surrogates via two workflows (high-end and mass digitisation programme) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Darwin Manuscript Project at the American Natural History Museum (AMNH) will provide metadata, transcriptions, and indexes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) , of which both NHM and AMNH are partners, will provide delivery and preservation </li></ul></ul>
    7.  
    8. BHL Mission - provide access to biodiversity literature <ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><li>Digitise the core published literature on biodiversity and put on the web </li></ul><ul><li>Agree on approaches with the taxonomic community, publishers and others </li></ul>
    9. Darwin: “If this were true adios theory” ! Lyell: “The entire variation from the original type... may usually be effected in a brief period of time, after which no further deviation can be obtained by continuing to alter the circumstances, though ever so gradually; indefinite divergence, either in the way of improvement or deterioration, being prevented...&quot; Context is significant
    10. Context is significant
    11. JISC-NEH Project – just the beginning… <ul><ul><li>This project will enable us to represent just over half of the annotated books in Darwin’s Library – we will fundraise for remainder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Darwin also kept notes of books he borrowed (and so couldn’t annotate!). Where these books are available, we will mount transcriptions of notes, enabling us to broaden concept to Darwin’s Reading </li></ul></ul>
    12. T he cultivation of natural science cannot be efficiently carried on without an extensive library. <ul><li>Charles Darwin, et al (1987) </li></ul><ul><li>Darwin, C.R. ,et al. 1847. Copy of Memorial to the First </li></ul><ul><li>Lord of the Treasury [Lord John Russell], respecting the </li></ul><ul><li>Management of the British Museum. Parliamentary </li></ul><ul><li>Papers, Accounts and Papers 1847, paper nu. (268), </li></ul><ul><li>Vol. XXXIV.253 (13 April): 1-3. [Complete Works of </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Darwin Online] </li></ul>
    13. UK Contacts <ul><li>Grant Young </li></ul><ul><li>Cambridge University Library </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Jane Smith </li></ul><ul><li>Natural History Museum, London </li></ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>www .nhm.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>www.Biodiveritylibrary.org </li></ul>
    14. Questions?

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