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Reach Out! New Opportunities for the
            Visual Resource Center

         The Art of Life project: a case study


VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
What is BHL?

 • A consortium of natural history, botanical libraries and
   research institutions
 • An open access digital repository for historic biodiversity
   literature
 • An open data repository of taxonomic names and
   bibliographic information

VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Member Institutions
    •    Academy of Natural Sciences Library and Archives
    •    American Museum of Natural History Library
    •    California Academy of Sciences Library
    •    Cornell University Library
    •    The Field Museum Library
    •    Harvard University Botany Libraries
    •    Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
    •    Library of Congress
    •    Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library
    •    Missouri Botanical Garden Library
    •    Natural History Museum, London, Library & Archives
    •    The New York Botanical Garden
    •    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Library & Archives
    •    Smithsonian Institution Libraries
    •    United States Geological Survey Libraries
VRA April 2013 Providence RI           Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
BHL
FT Staff



VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
BHL
Global



VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Why the need for Art of Life?
       Problem statement
       – users want access to images, access to images is
          limited
       – How to broaden the audiences for BHL content?




VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
What is Art of Life?

• Full title - The Art of Life: Data Mining and Crowdsourcing the
  Identification and Description of Natural History Illustrations
  from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)
• Grant given to Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis
• Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities
• Runs May 2012-April 2014

VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
5 Primary Objectives of Art of Life

     Objective 1: Define an appropriate metadata schema for natural history illustrations

     Objective 2: Build software tools to automatically identify illustrations in the BHL corpus

     Objective 3: Enhance existing tools to enable the initial sorting, viewing, and editing of these
     identified visual resources.

     Objective 4: Integrate tagging applications to enable a community of users to edit descriptive
     metadata for the illustrations

     Objective 5: Integrate the descriptive metadata generated by users back into BHL portal both for
     access and preservation


  VRA April 2013 Providence RI         Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden       Art of Life project
VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Current status of Art of Life
 • Development of the algorithm is about 90% complete and will
   be done by May 2013
 • Draft schema for describing natural history illustrations
   available for public review http://tinyurl.com/9hm7nsb
 • Classifier tool – in progress




VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Art of Life Schema
 Needs to support three objectives:
   (1) to enable the discovery, description and use of the
   identified images by artists, biologists, humanities scholars,
   librarians, and educators;
   (2) to make BHL’s metadata and images available to other
   platforms; and
   (3) to import crowdsourced metadata generated in other
   platforms back into BHL.

VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Schema landscape review
       – VRA Core 4.0 (image community)
       – LIDO (museum community)
       – Dublin Core (Web community)
       – Darwin Core (biodiversity community)



VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
ART OF LIFE SCHEMA ELEMENTS          red =required

                  Title
                  Type
                  Date
                  Copyright
                  Source
                  Agent
                  Subjects
                  Description
                  Inscription

VRA April 2013 Providence RI     Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Example of illustration described using Art of Life schema

                                      Title   Stictospiza formosa
                                      Type    Paintings
                                      Date    Publication: 1898
                                    Agent     Author: Arthur G. Butler (1844-1925)
                                              Illustrator: F.W. Frohawk (1861-1946)
                               Description    A pair of finches with green and yellow bodies resting on reeds
                                  Subjects    Scientific name: Amandava formosa (Latham, 1790)
                                              Vernacular Name: Green Avadavat or Green Munia
                                              Accepted Name: Amandava formosa (Latham, 1790)
                                              Birds, finches

                               Inscriptions   bottom center: Green Amaduvade Waxbill (Stictospiza formosa)

                                   Source     Butler, Arthur Gardiner. Foreign finches in captivity. Hull and London: Brumby and
                                              Clarke, limited,1889 (2nd edition). This image comes from the Biodiversity Heritage
                                              Library, and is available online at biodiversitylibrary.org/page/17195895

                                    Rights    Public domain


VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden                                    Art of Life project
How will this project benefit the visual resource
 community?

 • Significant resource of natural history images that will be made openly
   accessible and reusable-
 • Content is very cross-disciplinary (artists, art historians, biologists,
   humanities scholars, particularly historians of science; librarians, visual
   resource curators).
 • Interesting application of the Core 4.0 standard beyond its traditional
   domain
VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Thanks to Art of Life team!
 PI
           Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden
 Algorithm development
           Ed Bachta, Charlie Moad, Kyle Jaebker, Indianapolis Museum of Art
 Schema development
           Gaurav Vaidya and Robert Guralnick, University of Colorado, Boulder
           William Ulate, Missouri Botanical Garden
 Programming
           Mike Lichtenberg, Missouri Botanical Garden
 Consultants
           Doug Holland, Missouri Botanical Garden; Chris Freeland, Washington University
           (former PI for Art of Life)

VRA April 2013 Providence RI      Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
Interested? Here’s how you can help
 • We welcome your feedback on the schema! http://tinyurl.com/9hm7nsb
 • If you know of scholars and users who would be interested in these types
   of images and would be interested either in participating in our survey or
   a brief focus groups about the schema please have them contact me
   trish.rose-sandler@mobot.org
 • Would love to talk with other folks about their experiences with
   crowdsourcing of metadata, particularly if you’ve used flickr or Wikimedia
   commons
 • Spread the word about this free, rich resource of images!
   http://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary
 •
VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project
For more info
      http://biodivlib.wikispaces.com/Art+of+Life
      http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org


Contact:
      trish.rose-sandler@mobot.org


VRA April 2013 Providence RI   Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden   Art of Life project

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Reach Out! Opportunities for the Visual Resource Center

  • 1. Reach Out! New Opportunities for the Visual Resource Center The Art of Life project: a case study VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 2. What is BHL? • A consortium of natural history, botanical libraries and research institutions • An open access digital repository for historic biodiversity literature • An open data repository of taxonomic names and bibliographic information VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 3. Member Institutions • Academy of Natural Sciences Library and Archives • American Museum of Natural History Library • California Academy of Sciences Library • Cornell University Library • The Field Museum Library • Harvard University Botany Libraries • Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology • Library of Congress • Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library • Missouri Botanical Garden Library • Natural History Museum, London, Library & Archives • The New York Botanical Garden • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Library & Archives • Smithsonian Institution Libraries • United States Geological Survey Libraries VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 4. BHL FT Staff VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 5. BHL Global VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 6. VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 7. Why the need for Art of Life? Problem statement – users want access to images, access to images is limited – How to broaden the audiences for BHL content? VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 8. What is Art of Life? • Full title - The Art of Life: Data Mining and Crowdsourcing the Identification and Description of Natural History Illustrations from the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) • Grant given to Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis • Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities • Runs May 2012-April 2014 VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 9. VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 10. 5 Primary Objectives of Art of Life Objective 1: Define an appropriate metadata schema for natural history illustrations Objective 2: Build software tools to automatically identify illustrations in the BHL corpus Objective 3: Enhance existing tools to enable the initial sorting, viewing, and editing of these identified visual resources. Objective 4: Integrate tagging applications to enable a community of users to edit descriptive metadata for the illustrations Objective 5: Integrate the descriptive metadata generated by users back into BHL portal both for access and preservation VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 11. VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 12. Current status of Art of Life • Development of the algorithm is about 90% complete and will be done by May 2013 • Draft schema for describing natural history illustrations available for public review http://tinyurl.com/9hm7nsb • Classifier tool – in progress VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 13. Art of Life Schema Needs to support three objectives: (1) to enable the discovery, description and use of the identified images by artists, biologists, humanities scholars, librarians, and educators; (2) to make BHL’s metadata and images available to other platforms; and (3) to import crowdsourced metadata generated in other platforms back into BHL. VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 14. Schema landscape review – VRA Core 4.0 (image community) – LIDO (museum community) – Dublin Core (Web community) – Darwin Core (biodiversity community) VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 15. ART OF LIFE SCHEMA ELEMENTS red =required Title Type Date Copyright Source Agent Subjects Description Inscription VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 16. Example of illustration described using Art of Life schema Title Stictospiza formosa Type Paintings Date Publication: 1898 Agent Author: Arthur G. Butler (1844-1925) Illustrator: F.W. Frohawk (1861-1946) Description A pair of finches with green and yellow bodies resting on reeds Subjects Scientific name: Amandava formosa (Latham, 1790) Vernacular Name: Green Avadavat or Green Munia Accepted Name: Amandava formosa (Latham, 1790) Birds, finches Inscriptions bottom center: Green Amaduvade Waxbill (Stictospiza formosa) Source Butler, Arthur Gardiner. Foreign finches in captivity. Hull and London: Brumby and Clarke, limited,1889 (2nd edition). This image comes from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, and is available online at biodiversitylibrary.org/page/17195895 Rights Public domain VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 17. How will this project benefit the visual resource community? • Significant resource of natural history images that will be made openly accessible and reusable- • Content is very cross-disciplinary (artists, art historians, biologists, humanities scholars, particularly historians of science; librarians, visual resource curators). • Interesting application of the Core 4.0 standard beyond its traditional domain VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 18. Thanks to Art of Life team! PI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Algorithm development Ed Bachta, Charlie Moad, Kyle Jaebker, Indianapolis Museum of Art Schema development Gaurav Vaidya and Robert Guralnick, University of Colorado, Boulder William Ulate, Missouri Botanical Garden Programming Mike Lichtenberg, Missouri Botanical Garden Consultants Doug Holland, Missouri Botanical Garden; Chris Freeland, Washington University (former PI for Art of Life) VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 19. Interested? Here’s how you can help • We welcome your feedback on the schema! http://tinyurl.com/9hm7nsb • If you know of scholars and users who would be interested in these types of images and would be interested either in participating in our survey or a brief focus groups about the schema please have them contact me trish.rose-sandler@mobot.org • Would love to talk with other folks about their experiences with crowdsourcing of metadata, particularly if you’ve used flickr or Wikimedia commons • Spread the word about this free, rich resource of images! http://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary • VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project
  • 20. For more info http://biodivlib.wikispaces.com/Art+of+Life http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org Contact: trish.rose-sandler@mobot.org VRA April 2013 Providence RI Trish Rose-Sandler, Missouri Botanical Garden Art of Life project

Editor's Notes

  1. In 2006 libraries from botanical garden and natural history museums in the US and UK came together and decided they wanted to digitize all of the public domain literature in their collections and place them online to make them more widely accessible.One of our primary audiences are taxonomists who use BHL to find the first occurrence of name for a species in the historic literature. Also to track how that name has changed over time.
  2. Today there are 15 institutions who are BHL members and who contribute content to the repository. As you can see from the list its made up of some of the largest and most well known nat history and botanical garden libraries and as well as some libraries who are much broader in scope but contribute their biodiversity specific materials to the repository. Most recent member to join is the Library of Congress
  3. The BHL is made up of 6 fulltime staff located at both the Smithsonian Libraries and Missouri Botanical Garden. Program Director, Martin Kalfatovic; Program Manager, Grace Costantino; and Collections Coordinator, Bianca Crowley are all based at the Smithsonian LibrariesTechnical Director, William Ulate; Programmer, Mike Lichtenberg; Data Analyst, Trish Rose-Sandler based at the Missouri Botanical GardenWe also have contributions from staff at the member institutions who allow a certain percentage of their staff time to work on BHL (when we tried to quantify how much time is spent by the part time staff it comes out to a little over 16 FTEs from the member institutions)
  4. What began as a consortium between libraries in the US and UK it is now increasingly a global effort – there are BHL nodes in China, Australia, Egypt, Europe, Brazil and soon to be Africa! Each global partner maintains its own portal that is specialized to the needs of its users but we work to share content and technology across nodes and also try to not duplicate digitization efforts so we can maximize limited scanning funding.
  5. The url for the portal is at biodiversitylibrary.orgAfter 6 yrs of digitization we have a critical mass of contentWe have over 58 thousand titles112 thousand volumes40 million pages of text
  6. So all of this background information was provided in order to give context as to the need for the Art of Life project. Problem Statement- Art of Life evolved out of a need in the BHL that was expressed by our users. We had a critical mass of content online, BHL users knew there were amazing images within the BHL pages but there was no easy way to find them other than opening up a BHL book or volume and scrolling through page by page to find illustrations. There is no descriptive metadata attached to the illustration that would tell you the content of the image, date when they were created or who was involved in their creation. We also wanted to expand BHL to new audiences and domains and felt the illustrations were the pathway for doing that. Knew these illustrations would be of interest not only to biologists, but also to artists, historians in both the arts and science, educators; librarians/curators so we wrote a proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities because we believed they would understand and want to support the disciplinary nature of this content. Luckily they did and awarded Missouri Botanical Garden a grant for the Art of LIfe
  7. One way we’ve tried to address the need for image discovery is by pushing selected images to Flickr. We have created a BHL account in Flickr and pushed over 63,000 images so far but but this is all a very manual process that takes considerable staff time. We estimate that we have millions of illustrations within BHL so this manual process does not scale well. The address is flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary
  8. This is the Art of Life workflow diagram which identifies the 4 processes the illustrations will go through as they move through each stage of the workflow. They include: Extract, Classify, Describe, and Share.The Extract stage is where BHL pages will be run through an algorithm to identify which pages contain illustrations, whether they be full plates or only a section of the page. This algorithm is being developed by our partners on the project from the Indianapolis Museum of Art Lab. At the Classify stage, the pages with illustrations will be tagged by Art of Life staff as being one or several broad types such as drawing/painting, photograph, diagram and even map. For the Describe stage, the illustrations will be pushed into platforms such as Flickr and Wikimedia Commons where both the general public and specialists can describe them in much greater detail such as adding a title, creator, date (if different from date of publication), and subjects. Wikimedia Commons is where the schema can play a role. Because Wikimedia allows you to create templates we can provide guidance to taggers on what information to record and how to record it. In the Share stage, the metadata contributed in Flickr and Wikimedia Commons will be ingested into the BHL portal both for preservation and discovery. Because many of these new audiences don’t know about BHL and wouldn’t go to the BHL platform to discover the illustrations we also want to push the illustrations out to environments where those audiences are familiar with: Encyclopedia of Life, ARTstor, and even iTunesU where we already have some themed collections at the book level.
  9. – BHL staff will be doing some broad classification of the images before we send them to the description stage. For that purpose we are reusing an existing BHL tool developed by the Smithsonian Libraries that we currently use for adding structural metadata
  10.  A challenge for this project will be to identify the schema, or perhaps schemas, that can serve the metadata needs of a mix of audiences. For example, an art historian reviewing an illustration may be interested in knowing the artist and geographic location where the work was created in order to understand how the artist was influenced by his or her locality. A scientist, considering the same illustration, may be interested in knowing the species name and geographic distribution of the organism depicted in the illustration to compare the development of the species with related species from that area. Both have a need for the geographic metadata contained within the text, but from different perspectives.Since we wanted to push these illustrations out into other platforms for crowdsourcing the descriptions and then bring that metadata back into the BHL platform we needed a schema that would help guide users in what information to contribute and how to record it and also to create some consistency in those descriptions so they are easier to bring back to BHL Rather than inventing a new schema from scratch we really wanted to adopt an existing schema or schemas so that when we shared the described illustrations beyond the BHL, the metadata could easily interoperate with data in other systems .
  11. VRA Core 4.0 of course you are all familiar with since it came out of the VRA community. LIDO was designed for museum objects and has begun to supercede CDWA. Dublin Core of course is the default standard to consider for any online digital repository and Darwin Core which you may be less familiar with because it comes out of the taxonomic community and was originally conceived of as a way to share info about specimins but today is more broadly used for sharing info bout any info source on biological diversity was also considered.I have to confess here that I have some personal bias towards VRA Core because I have been involved in the development and maintenance of version 4. But The Core really was found to be the best fit for the natural history illustrations. Its elements and attributes were mostly closely aligned with the types of information we felt were important to record. But also because its relationship of works to one or more images fit nicely with the book structure which often contain one or more illustrations on a single page. The only thing the VRA Core lacked was a way to record an acceptedName and CommonName for a species. VRA Core has a subject attribute type of scientificName but Taxonomists need more specificity. Darwin Core was able to fulfill this need and so we borrowed 2 elements from that schema.
  12. We ended up with 9 elements total, 7 of which came from VRA Core 4.0 and 2 which came from Darwin Core. The elements in red are required but since Date, Copyright and Source are pulled directly from the bibliographic citation for the book the tagger really only has to enter Title and Type. The value for Title we recommend either pulling from a caption if it exists or doing a basic description of the objects in the image. For Type BHL staff will apply at least one of 5 broad types: drawings/paintings; maps; photographs; diagrams; or prints and we recommend the tagger to add a narrower type if applicable from an existing vocabulary such as AAT.
  13. Here is an illustration described using the schema
  14. Significant resource of natural history images that will be made openly accessible and reusable- resulting 1 million plus images and catalog metadata will be downloadable for free use and available in image platforms already familiar to you (e.g. ARTstor),Content is very cross-disciplinary: appeals to a wide range of audiences including artists, biologists, humanities scholars, particularly historians of science; librarians, education and outreach. Anyone who uses images in their research and teaching. Interesting application of the Core 4.0 standard beyond its traditional domain. We had always designed Core 4 to be broader than just for the art history community and Art of Life demonstrates the flexibility of the standard and a means for providing data interoperability across domains