British Library Labs


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British Library Labs presentation given at Workshop 3: The Infinite Archive: The Archival Perspective

Friday 10th May, 2013
16:00 - 16:45

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British Library Labs

  1. 1. British Library Labs Library Labs and competition informationFriday 10thMay 2013, 16:00 – 16:45Workshop 3: The Infinite Archive: The Archival PerspectiveMr Mahendra MaheyBritish Library Labs Project ManagerScholarship and Collections, Digital Scholarship
  2. 2. 2Overview• Background to the project• Labs in more detail and how to engage• Research methods and content used with Labs• The competition
  3. 3. 3Mahendra Mahey• Project Management, Research (Digital Repositories) and Teaching(Social Science, Computing and Multimedia)• Technology adviser for academics, researchers and librarians• Over 20 years experience in UK and European Further and HigherEducation• Last 4 years• Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) project• community building with developers and researchers in UKAcademia through knowledge transfer and creating innovativetools and services for the sector• Labs project manager since mid March 2013
  4. 4. 4“Every book tells a story, butwhat can 68,000 books tellyou?”The project in a nutshell…Encouraging scholars to do research anddevelopment with and across British Librarycollections and data (+other)
  5. 5. 5Our Brand…
  6. 6. 6Background• Grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation• 2 year initial project
  7. 7. 7• Michelle Burton• Maja Maricevic• Richard Boulderstone• Kristian Jensen• Professor Tim Hitchcock (Digital Humanities)– University of Hertfordshire• Professor Andrew Prescott (Digital Humanities)– King’s College London• Bill Thompson (Technology writer)- BBC• Professor Claire Warwick (Digital Humanities)- University College London• David De Roure – Professor of e-research- Oxford e-research centreProject Board Advisory BoardPeople…Boards
  8. 8. 8• Stella Wisdom• Nora McGregor• Aquiles Alencar Brayner• James Baker• Rossitza AtanassovaDigital Curators Digital Scholarship• Aly Conteh• Adam FarquharPeople…Digital scholarship team
  9. 9. 9• Meet regularly (monthly) to decide on licensing of contentthat has been submitted for considerationPeople…Access / Reuse Working Group
  10. 10. 10People - library curators• There are around 200 curators at the Library• Labs work directly with the curators responsible for it’sdigital collections• Find the collections and engage with the curators• Curators sometimes suggest ideas for usage• Participate in events, meetings etc.
  11. 11. 11Labs people• Labs Manager• Recruiting a Technical Lead (closes 22 May 2013)
  12. 12. 12Details (1)• No digitisation involved, just digitized and born digitalLibrary content• Existing content on line and other content in digital form butnot online yet…e.g. too big, needs work, technicalchallenges, license restrictions (e.g. onsite access etc)• Examine and analyse the content especially entirecollections (i.e. cross collection research)• Do research, publish, make things…• Transforming services and tools for scholars at the Libraryusing digital collections
  13. 13. 13Details (2)• Organising competitions, events and various activities• Creating environment where scholars can work intensivelywith Library’s digital collections (winners will be resident),but not only…• Encourage research generally with and across collections(Labs is more than the competition just speak to us!)• Ideas can be pursued by talking to BL staff , with scholars /developers who are interested in conducting research /making things, e.g. meetings, events etc. even businessopportunities where relevant and appropriate
  14. 14. 14The plan in time…• Launch Event – 25thMarch 2013 – draft details of competition and feedback• Competition details launched end of April• Virtual 17 May and Hack Event 28/29 May• Road-show – I can come to you!• June 26thdeadline• Winners announced at 6 July 2013, York (Digital Heritage Conference)• Best two ideas will win a residency and one will be awarded £3000 prize and the other£1000 prize in November• Other ideas, look at supporting in other ways e.g. through Labs, other Librarydepartments, Business opportunities• Case studies produced around Nov/Dec, repeat for 2014
  15. 15. 15Components to the plan…• Policy Framework• BL Labs Competitions• BL Labs Services• BL Labs Hackathons• Disseminating findings• Content to be used with BL Labs
  16. 16. 16BL Labs Competition• At least 2 Competitions• Review and feedback to examine approach• Winners will work ‘in residence’ where possible• Focus particularly on cross collection research, research atscale but other research and development encouraged too!• Help develop tools and services to support digitalscholarship (e.g. APIs, data cleansing etc.)
  17. 17. 17BL Labs Services• Identify appropriate services to be developed for scholars /developers wanting to use digital Library collections forresearch and development• Particularly interested in developing APIs for data /collections• Powerful interface for researchers and developers forconducting innovative and transformative projects• Lead by Technical lead
  18. 18. 18Labs Hack Days…• Bringing researchers, developers, curators and anyoneinterested with collections together at events• Brainstorming ideas – ideas lab• Scoping research, ideas, solving problems and developingprototypes• 28/29 May – book!
  19. 19. 19Disseminating Findings…• Website• Email to lists• Blog• Interviews• Case Studies• Reports
  20. 20. 20Case studies…• Research generated from the competitions and generalactivity of Labs• Inform the Library and other libraries around the world aboutthe issues, challenges, solutions and benefits generatedwhen using a Labs approach
  21. 21. 21Labs Content• Work with curators to identify those digital collections thatare suitable for Labs• Focus on those that are copyright cleared at the moment• Others considered in light of challenges, i.e. in scope forLabs work• Engage researchers/developers with these materialsthrough meetings, road-shows, hack days, promotions(including competitions and events)
  22. 22. 22Labs Content
  23. 23. 23British National Bibliographic Data•• 2.6 Million individual records• detailing Title, Author, Subject, Descriptions and more ofbooks and journals published or distributed in the UnitedKingdom and Ireland since 1950.• It is currently available as Linked Open Data, BasicRDF/XML and Marc21. An excellent resource for uncoveringpublishing trends across the decades!
  24. 24. 24UK Web Archive Data•• An example dataset is the JISC UK Web Domain Dataset(1996-2010) which is a 32TB subset of the InternetArchive’s web collection relating to the UK.
  25. 25. 2519thCentury Digitised Books• 68,000 digitised volumes and their accompanying JP2, PDF,metadata and OCR text files• Many rare or inaccessible books published between 1789and 1914 and covers a wide range of subject areasincluding philosophy, history, poetry and literature.• Representative materials here: britishlibrary19c.tumblr.com25
  26. 26. 26International Dunhuang Project• IDP is a ground-breaking international collaboration to makeinformation and images of all manuscripts, paintings,textiles and artefacts from Dunhuang and archaeologicalsites of the Eastern Silk Road freely available on theInternet and to encourage their use through educational andresearch programmes•
  27. 27. 27Environment and Nature Sounds• thousands of recordings from the Sound Archives unrivallednatural sounds collection is available for free download asMP3’s to staff and students UK higher and further educationinstitutions•
  28. 28. 28Book ordering data…• Every day thousands of items are ordered up from thelibrary stacks and delivered to researchers in our readingrooms. We can provide daily anonymised reports of thesetitles including shelfmark information and reading roomlocationAnonymised reader data…• Anonymised information about our readers
  29. 29. 29Resonance FM• London Community Arts Radio Show•• 10 year sound archive!• Speech to text?
  30. 30. 30Example Research Methods• Corpus Analysis tools• Visualisations• Topic Models• Location based searching• Geotagging• Annotation• APIs for datasets e.g. Metadata• Crowdsourcing / Human Computation• Natural Language Processing• Transcribing
  31. 31. 31Example Ideas
  32. 32. 32Competition 2013• Join our website and mailing list• Express your interest or tell others• Virtual event 17 May 2013 (1500 GMT)• Hack event 28/29 May 2013, London• Deadline for Submission is 26 June midnight• Winners announced 6 July 2013• Working on entry July to November (curatorial and financial support given)• Other ideas can be worked on too!• Showcase in November 2013 and winners get up to £3000!
  33. 33. 33Competition 2013
  34. 34. 34Speak to me: 0207 412 7324Email me: or labs@bl.ukLabs Website: our competition!Twitter: @BL_LabsHash Tag: #bl_labsJiscmail: next?