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Digital Initiatives and Digital Scholarship at the British Library


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Presentation "Digital Initiatives and Digital Scholarship at the British Library" by Neil Fitzgerald at the IMPACT Annual Members' Meeting 2017

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Digital Initiatives and Digital Scholarship at the British Library

  1. 1. Digital Initiatives and Digital Scholarship at the British Library IMPACT Members Meeting Neil Fitzgerald
  2. 2. 2 Heritage Made Digital Vision: By 2023 • Users will be able to discover and get access to all BL digitised content through a single platform • Users will be able to assess what has been digitised in terms of the wider collections • We will have digitised significant part of our collections which are culturally important in Britain or internationally, often in collaboration with others • We will have digitised major collections which are classified as select, restricted or in other ways as being of high importance
  3. 3. 3 By 2023 • A high proportion of material which is unfit for use for physical reasons will be digitised, as will a high proportion of material which is fragile but yet usable • A mixed-economy approach continues to drive our digitisation. Funding comes from a commercial and from fundraising and other external sources • We will have used Grant in Aid and strategically guided external funds towards the digitation of parts of the collection which are underrepresented in our current digital offering • All this will be underpinned by a standard but expandable and adaptable workflow from right clearance to ingest and access
  4. 4. 4 Commercial Strategy Collection Strategy Partnership Strategy Cengag e Gale Find My Past Adam Matthe w ProQue st (other) Public / Private Partnerships Qatar Euro- peana Save our Sounds Discoveri ng Literature Philan- thropic Open Access Models Google Books Microsof t Books Amazo n Hybrid Models Living Knowledge Living Knowledge, Heritage Made Digital and Partnerships Requires a joined up strategy
  6. 6. 6 • Two Centuries of Indian Print • Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation In partnership with The National Library of Israel • King’s Topographical Collection • England and France, 700-1200 In partnership the Bibliothèque nationale de France, funded by the Polonsky Foundation • Qatar Foundation Digitisation Partnership • Google Books Digitisation • Public Private Partnerships (Adam Matthew Digital, Gale Cengage, FindMyPast) • Endangered Archives Programme Current major digitisation initiatives
  7. 7. 7 Save Our Sounds Programme #saveoursounds
  8. 8. 8 Viewing Digitised Content
  9. 9. 9 Digital Asset Management & Preservation System (DAMPS) Project • The existing Digital Library System was originally designed over 10 years ago • It is used to ingest and preserve 150TB of digital content every year • Contains numerous content types including Ebooks, Ejournals, Web Archive, Digital images, Newspapers and Audio • Recent improvements have included – Setting up new content streams – increased capacity and performance – improved automation and MI
  10. 10. 10 Challenges • Need to cater for new and future types of content • Need step change in ingest capacity and replication performance (from c0.5TB per day to c5TB a day) • Longer timescales to deliver new functionality with existing development approach • Very complex architecture due to historical evolution of DLS • High on-going development and maintenance costs • New technology opportunities exit (such as improved storage & replication technologies)
  11. 11. 11 Project Focus • Replace the existing Digital Library System (DLS) application with a commercial ‘off the shelf’ Digital Asset Management and Preservation (DAMPS) product capable of supporting the Libraries current and future Collection Management activities. • Improve the efficiency and automation of business processes for managing ingest and preservation of existing digital & digitised content streams, enabling the future scaling up of digital collection operations. • Enable the rapid configuration and deployment of new digital & digitised content required to realise the Library’s long term vision for content collection, preservation and access. • Provide a robust, reliable and flexible solution that is compatible with the Libraries strategic layered technical architecture model and reduces IT architectural complexity. • Enable an improved IT and Collection Management operating models, bringing cost efficiencies in the development, support and management of digital collection activity.
  12. 12. 12 Catalogue IntegrationExternal Integration Storage Infrastructure A/D Infrastructure Acquisition Discovery Systems UV/UP API I n g e s t Data Management Archival Storage A c c e s s Administration Preservation Planning
  13. 13. 13 Meet the Digital Scholarship Department Founded in 2010, we support the innovative use of British Library's digital collections and data through: • Working behind the scenes to get content in digital form and online • Offering digital research support and guidance • Supporting collaborative projects • Running events, competitions, and awards Teams: • BL Labs • Digital Curators • Endangered Archives Programme
  14. 14. 14 Digital skill building The Digital Scholarship Training Programme is an internal staff training initiative by the Digital Curator team that launched in November 2012. Helps us to situate our collections and expertise in the realm of digital research. Explore opportunities and challenges. Delivered over 100 courses to over 400 staff members so far! Looking now to go external with this in 2017/2018. Library Carpentry: Software Skills for Librarians
  15. 15. 15 Some Courses • 101 This is Digital Scholarship • 103 Digitisation at British Library • 105 Crowdsourcing in Libraries, Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions • 107 Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research • 108 Geocoding Historical Information and Digital Mapping • 109 Data on the Web: Mash-ups, API’s and The Semantic Web • 118 Cleaning up Data Some Hack & Yacks • Handwritten Text Recognition with Transkribus • From Paper Maps to the Web: A DIY Digital Maps Primer • Literary & Historical Network Analysis using Gephi • Interactive writing platforms: Twine and Inklewriter
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  17. 17. 17 Pilot will see over 4,000 items between 1713 to 1914, mostly Bengali to be digitised and catalogued Dedicated Digital Curator supporting computationally driven research, such as text mining, with outputs, through creating and curating datasets for inclusion on and providing digital skills training. • Understand how best to support digital humanities /digital research community to use these digital collections • Create & promote accessible datasets for analysis • Collaboratively stimulate innovative digital research • Deliver training workshops for Indian institutions Two Centuries of Indian Print Pleasing tales designed to improve the understanding, and direct the conduct of young persons, 1825
  18. 18. 18 OCR Challenges and Opportunities • Enables search + research at scale across many items • Multiple table styles • Efficient OCR solution for Bengali and other South Asian languages Bengal Library Catalogue of Books,1918-1919, ‘Quarterly list’ SV 412/8
  19. 19. 19 ICDAR 2017 Transcription Competition Registration closes 12 June
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  24. 24. 24 Open Cultural Heritage Datasets Collection Guides Datasets about our collections Bibliographic datasets relating to our published and archival holdings Datasets for content mining Content suitable for use in text and data mining research Datasets for image analysis Image collections suitable for large-scale image- analysis-based research Datasets from UK Web Archive Data and API services available for accessing UK Web Archive Digital mapping Geospatial data, cartographic applications, digital aerial photography and scanned historic map materials Each dataset has a Digital Object Identifier Discussion list:
  25. 25. 25 British Library Data Strategy 2016 Our vision for the British Library is that research data are as integrated into our collections, research and services as text is today. The British Library's users will be able to consume research data online through tools that enable it to be analysed, visualised and understood by non- specialists.
  26. 26. 26 Four Themes Data Archiving and Preservation Data Discovery, Access and Reuse Data CreationData Management
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  28. 28. 28 Next steps • Create an abridged version of the strategy for public distribution • Continue work on DataCite and THOR • Finalise approach to data management plans • Establish evidence-base for data archiving • Increase access to BL datasets through • Stimulate use of BL datasets at the Turing Institute • Feed in to Digital Research Service & Suite
  29. 29. 29 Endangered Archives Programme Through an annual competition, EAP grants provide funding to preserve social and cultural archival material that is in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration world-wide. To date, the EAP has awarded 290 grants in 80 countries, preserving cultural and social archives across Africa, Asia, Europe, Americas and Oceania. In 2017/2018 EAP will host a Chevening fellow to strengthen its activities in South America and the Middle East. EAP266: History of Bolama, the first capital of Portuguese Guinea (1879-1941), as reflected in the Guinean National Historical Archives
  30. 30. 30 Thank you! Email: Web: Blog: #bldigital and @BL_DigiSchol