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British Library Labs Leeds Roadshow 2018

  1. 1 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds 1230 - 1300, Tuesday, 5 June 2018, Treasures of Brotherton Gallery, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT What is BL Labs? How have we engaged researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and educators in using our digital collections? Mahendra Mahey, Manager of British Library Labs (BL Labs)
  2. 2 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation & British Library Running since March 2013 Core Team • Adam Farquhar (Principal Investigator) • Mahendra Mahey (Manager) (Full Time) • Ben O’Steen (Technical Lead) (Full Time) • Eleanor Cooper (Project Officer) (0.5)
  3. 3 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Mahendra Mahey Experiment with our Digital Collections Running since March 2013 Core Team • Adam Farquhar (Principal Investigator) • Mahendra Mahey (Manager) (Full Time) • Ben O’Steen (Technical Lead) (Full Time) • Eleanor Cooper (Project Officer) (0.5)
  4. 4 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Challenges Labs Addresses • Money spent on digitising / capturing digital – return on investment, how is it being used and what value and impact it is having, especially when opening collections for all. • What digital collections are there that can be used openly and onsite and how do we tell people? • How do we explore the feel / shape of collections at scale? • How do we find, explore, augment discovery in often ‘messy’ cultural heritage data without public APIs? • How do we discover, celebrate old culture & remix to create new culture?
  5. 5 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds The British Library Inside the British Library Space for 1200 readers, around 500,000 visitors per year Building 37 uses low oxygen and robots Reading room and delivery to London Many items stored at Document Supply and Storage centre 48 hours away Stockton-on-Tees Author right to payment each time their books are borrowed from public libraries. St Pancras, London, UK Many books are stored 4 stories below the building UK Legal Deposit Library – Reference only Founded in 1973 though origins stem back to British Museum Library 1753 Boston-Spa
  6. 6 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Collections – not just books! > 180*million items > 0.8* m serial titles > 8* m stamps > 14* m books > 6* m sound recordings > 4* m maps > 1.6* m musical scores > 0.3* m manuscripts > 60* m patents King’s Library *Estimates
  7. 7 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Living Knowledge Vision (2015 – 2023) Custodianship Research Business Culture Learning International To make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment and be the most open, creative and innovative institution of its kind by 2023 (50 year anniversary). Document: Speech: Roly Keating (Chief Executive Officer of the British Library) To make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment and be the most open, creative and innovative institution of its kind by 2023 (50 year anniversary).
  8. 8 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Wider engagement…not just Digital Humanities / Scholarship Researchers Researchers Artists Librarians Curators Software Developers Archivists Educators Working and Communicating Inspirational examples Experiences Challenges Lessons Learned Entrepreneurs
  9. 9 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Digital research methods Digital Scholarship Visualisations Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for datasets e.g. Metadata, Images, etc Transcribing Annotation Location based searching & Geo-tagging Corpus analysis, Text Mining & Natural Language Processing Crowdsourcing Human Computation In 20 years time?
  10. 10 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds What about Digital? Born Digital Digitised
  11. 11 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds / Knowledge Quarter London 80 knowledge organisations (as of 14/04/18) within 1 mile radius of Kings Cross, (Headquartered at the British Library) UK Web Archive and e-legal deposit (2013) Born digital
  12. 12 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds #bldigital 3 %* digitised * estimate Digitisation Partnerships Commercial & Other Organisations Amount increasing rapidly e.g. Heritage Made Digital Bias in digitisation Sample Generator
  13. 13 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Playbills, Books, Newspapers (includes Optical Character Recognition (OCR)) Digital collections and Datasets British National Bibliography Music (Recordings & Sheet) & Sounds Broadcast News (TV and Radio) Usage data EtHOS Web ArchiveImages, Manuscripts & Maps Qatar Digital Library International Dunhuang Project Maps Hebrew Manuscripts Flickr & Wikimedia Commons
  14. 14 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Finding Open Cultural Heritage Datasets Collection Guides (199 as of 17/04/2018) 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 Download collections as zips, no API Each dataset has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) can be referenced for research Not all discoverable via search engines!
  15. 15 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds How are we doing this?
  16. 16 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Competition Awards Projects Tell us your ideas of what to do with our digital content (2013-16) Show us what you have already done with our digital content in research, artistic, commercial and learning and teaching categories Talk to us about working on collaborative projects Tell us your ideas of what to do with our digital content Engagement • Roadshows • Events • Meetings • Conversations New! Digital Research Support
  17. 17 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Digital Research Support Application Process • Complete online form - • Entries reviewed and selected at the beginning of the month • Up to 5 days support provided • Technical, curatorial and legal advice • Scope, Costs, Time, Risks • Any other relevant issues?
  18. 18 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds • The Library has to go out to meet researchers, regularly and cyclically to tell them what we have and learn what they want to do • Debunk ‘myths’ about the Library • Show / tell researchers about the reality of our data • Researcher’s ideas always change once they explore the data! Lots of two-way communication! BL Labs runs annual ‘ Roadshows’ around the UK and the World
  19. 19 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Have you got X? Looking for Physical Content in the British Library
  20. 20 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Have you got X digitised / in digital form? Looking for Digitised / Digital Content in the BL
  21. 21 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds •Digitisation costs money, time, resources •705 Digitisation projects / collections (as of 15/05/2018) From the UK Web (born digital) to small amounts of digitised manuscripts (digitised) So little digitised…why? © £ 
  22. 22 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Openly Licensed Digital Content? 15% Openly Licensed Around 80%* available online Working through to make more open through Access and Re-use committee which meets once a month… Though some collections will always only be available onsite due to various reasons including legal, ethical etc. Breakdown by collection* Manuscripts 59% Books 9% Maps and Views 7% Newspapers 3% Archives and Records 3% Paintings, Prints and Drawings 2% *Based on number of digitisation projects (705 as of 15/05/18) Largest proportion of funding Public / Private Partnership 15 %* Openly Licensed – most online 85 %* Available onsite only at the moment *Estimates
  23. 23 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds The Story of the Digital Collection… Digital Collection Curator Who paid for the digitisation? Who did the digitisation? Technology used Born digital? Published Unpublished Where is it? Can it still be accessed? Generates income Reputational risk in using? Legalities / Ethics / Morality Politics when digitised Personalities involved Surprises (e.g. gaps) Descriptive information Old format not supported What media was the digitisation done from? Is there any background documentation? No Descriptive information Inconsistent descriptive information Still there? Good to know the background ‘story’ of a Digital Collection if you want to use it for research and make conclusions…
  24. 24 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Open Content vs Onsite Only Access • Access easier for openly licensed content • More challenging for on-site, in-copyright, non-print legal deposit, data protected, old content media & contemporary material (post 1877) ©
  25. 25 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds How do we give access to onsite-only Digital Collections (85% of our Digital Collections)?
  26. 26 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds only in Reading Rooms due to © only on site due to © or ethical etc not online / available – various storage devices, personal data online and open British Library online behind paywall Challenges of access to Digital Collections Labs Residency Model
  27. 27 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds • Dialogue typically: – you are ‘lucky’ & we have the digital content / data relevant to your research – we don’t have exactly what your looking for, but is there anything of interest? Let’s talk… – engagement can be hard work and it’s constantly required to maintain interest in our digital collections! • We also tend to attract researchers with ‘fuzzier’ research boundaries and possibly open to more interdisciplinary / collaborative research • Artists find this dialogue easier… What engagement does the BL have with researchers wanting use our digital content?
  28. 28 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Our Audience and You Audience research & Digital interests Digital collections you have This is where Labs works It starts with a conversation! Only a small amount of content is digitised! Might not be the treasure expected at the end of a digital journey!
  29. 29 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Interactions with BL Labs “researcher” wanting to work with our data Submit idea for support
  30. 30 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds What did people actually do? Examples from Text and Images Over 200 examples (including sound, video) from Competition and Awards:
  31. 31 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Example Pattern of Research 1, 2, 3 1. Find / identify new things in messy stuff 2. Unlock hidden history / data 3. Celebrate new discoveries
  32. 32 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Finding / identifying invisible / well hidden things in ‘messy’ historical data Not the British Library! Example Pattern of Research 1
  33. 33 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Messiness in historical data • 'Begun in Kiryu, Japan, finished in France' • 'Bali? Java? Mexico?' • Variations on USA: – U.S. – U.S.A – U.S.A. – USA – United States of America – USA ? – United States (case) • Inconsistency in uncertainty – U.S.A. or England – U.S.A./England ? – England & U.S.A.
  34. 34 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Open Refine
  35. 35 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Characterising / learning the shape of your data
  36. 36 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds
  37. 37 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds #digitalhumanities dancohen/lists/digitalhumanities @ProfHacker @Dhnow @BL_DigiSchol And more links to resources here:
  38. 38 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Unearthing / unlocking hidden histories & data to stimulate new research It’s an 18th Century Poem! Example Pattern of Research 2
  39. 39 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Celebrating hidden histories / data creatively through events, art & performance Re-enacting, re-discovering history Example Pattern of Research 3
  40. 40 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Experiments with Text
  41. 41 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Finding things in ‘messy’ Optical Character Recognised (OCR) text Mrs Folly • Clean up some manually • Get human ‘ground truth’ • Write computer code (sometimes it’s machine learning) to find things reliably in it ‘automatically’ • Try code on messy content • Tweak if necessary • Digital ‘lasso’ around content • Human sift through Mrs Folly An example pattern of research
  42. 42 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Legalities of Machine Learning / Text and Data mining Legalities of Machine Learning / Text and Data mining still up for discussion…Often misunderstood Is it the same as humans reading and looking for patterns…just a bit quicker?
  43. 43 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Victorian Meme Machine (2014) Bob Nicholson Bob Nicholson interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Making History Programme: And telling jokes to the public: Bob obtained further funding from his university Looking for more collaborations Rob Walker, Victorian Mother-in-law Jokes Victorian Comedy Night, 7 Nov 2016 Learnt about access paths to digital collections
  44. 44 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Katrina Navickas (2015) Political Meetings Mapper Labs Symposium 2015 Interview 2015 The Chartist Newspaper Chartist Monster Meeting Chartists Walking Tour and Re-enactment London Learnt that domain knowledge reduces noise
  45. 45 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Black Abolitionist Performances & their Presence in Britain (2016) – Hannah-Rose Murray Frederick Douglass Ellen Craft Josiah Henson Ida B Wells A Performance by Joe Williams & Martelle Edinborough Started to implement Machine Learning Techniques
  46. 46 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Data-mining verse in 18th Century newspapers BL Labs Project 16-17, Jennifer Batt Slides courtesy Jennifer Batt Started to refine Machine Learning Techniques
  47. 47 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Psychiatrist’s Journey into 19th Century Newspapers (2016) • Dr Surendra P Singh, Consultant Psychiatrist • To identify weekly, monthly, yearly and longitudinal trends in suicide reporting in terms of gender, status, sites, locations and health in OCR text of 19th Century Newspapers • Used ‘R’ Open Source Stats Package to collect ‘Suicide’ corpus • Looking for collaborators to work on this dataset Use off-the-shelf tools and remote access pathways
  48. 48 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Virtual Infrastructure for OCR text OCR text ‘scraped’ from digitised newspapers and put in internal cloud Jupyter notebook Write python code and results in web browser Access available for researchers ‘in residence’
  49. 49 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Experiments with Images
  50. 50 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds 65,000 digitised 19th Century books Image: Artwork by Alicia Martin 2007 / 2008 Paid for by: For a full list: Subjects include: Philosophy Poetry History Literature 1789 - 1876
  51. 51 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds 30 August 2012
  52. 52 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds 002819694 Unique number
  53. 53 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds
  54. 54 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds
  55. 55 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds OCR XML Generated by ABBY Fine Reader Optical Character Recognition
  56. 56 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Images from books captured too!
  57. 57 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Worked better for female faces than men’s Press Posts image every 30 minutes 1,020,418 images need tagging! Creative uses of images Face recognition Algorithms based on photos Mechanical Curator with an algorithmic brain (Circles, Squares and Slanty etc) Wikimedia Flickr Commons Individual URL & API Snipping out images from 65,000 Digitised Books* >800,000,000* views >17,000,000* tags Work @ BL by Ben O’Steen, Labs and Digital Research Team*Matt Prior - Since Dec 2013 Tumblr *Estimates >More demand to see physical items
  58. 58 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Tagging, Tagging, Tagging…
  59. 59 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Tagging a million images Iterative Crowdsourcing Cardiff University’s Lost Visions Project Metadata Games James Heald Mario Klingemann Chico 45 Use computational methods Human Tagger Top British Library Flickr Commons Taggers 18 hard core taggers How to reward and keep motivated this ‘small group? Average for ‘crowd’ is 1 tag per person What kind of ‘task’ can this ‘crowd’ do? Mobile games for ‘Ships’, ‘Covers’ and ‘Portraits’ Interface for tagging
  60. 60 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Adam Crymble (2015) Crowdsource Arcade 30 mins talk Labs Symposium (2015) 5 min interview (2015) Game Jam Using Arcade Games to help Tag images ‘Art Treachery’ and ‘Tag Attack’
  61. 61 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Special Jury’s Prize (2015) James Heald – Wikimedia and Map work Labs Symposium (2015)Geotagging maps 50,000 Maps Found in Flickr 1 million Human & Computational Tagging & Community engagement Geo-referencing work
  62. 62 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds SherlockNet: Competition Winner 2016 Karen Wang, Luda Zhao and Brian Do Using Convolutional Neural Networks to Automatically Tag and Caption the British Library Flickr Commons 1 million Image Collection 12 categories >15.5 million tags added >100,000 captions Pooled surrounding OCR text on page from similar images Used Microsoft COCO (photographs) & British Museum Prints and Drawings collections as training sets. Tags Captions
  63. 63 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Mario Klingeman (2015) Code Artist / Curator Kris Hoffman (2016) Animation for Fashion Week 2016 Jiayi Chong 2016 - Animation tool Paul Rand Pierce 2016 Graphic Novel on Facebook Tragic Looking Women 44 Men who Look 44 (Notice the direction faces) A Hat on the Ground Spells trouble Artistic / Creative Works David Normal 2014 and 2015 Collages/Paintings & Lightboxes
  64. 64 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Hey there Young Sailor! Ling Low 2016 – Hey there Young Sailor @SWEETNLOWFILMS ON INSTAGRAM @SWEETNLOWLING ON TWITTER The Impatient Sisters Play to fade!
  65. 65 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Imaginary Cities – BL Labs Project / Exhibition 16-18 (Michael Takeo Magruder) An artistic exploration seeking to create provocative fictional cityscapes for the Information Age from the British Library’s digital collection of historic urban maps
  66. 66 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Alanna Hilton British Fashion Colleges Council and Teatum Jones
  67. 67 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Careful of making conclusions based on ‘black box’ software & techniques (e.g. sentiment analysis, algorithms), learn the assumptions behind them first! Lessons Learned & Challenges… Beware of ‘Black Box’ software…
  68. 68 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Breaking Black Boxes – Melodee Beals
  69. 69 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Huge appetite to use digital content & data for anyone’s ideas! (e.g. Flickr Commons stats). Lessons Learned & Challenges… Huge demand for open digital content…
  70. 70 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Labs mindset… 1. Labs tries to start a conversation, generate positive energy, encourages fun/play/experimentation and tries to support ideas. 2. Start with small experiments, use can be really simple, but OK to think big! 3. Fail faster (don’t be afraid) and persevere. 4. Reject perfectionism! Good enough is sometimes…good enough! 5. Services that allow useful exploration of cultural heritage data are rare! 6. Exploring data is difficult to do with large datasets and often requires specific skills and capabilities that many of our users don’t have – training or collaborations? 7. Celebrate the uses of digital collections, tell the world! 8. Success is sometimes all about the right people, place & right time…
  71. 71 @BL_Labs @BL_DigiSchol @LeedsHRI @UniversityLeeds Explore or Imagine Our Data! • CSV of Metadata • 19th Century Books - Book Metadata - 01/09/2013. • Digitised Books - Flickr Tag History - Dec 2013 to March 2016. TSV • Digitised Hebrew Manuscripts - Metadata • Digitised Hebrew Manuscripts: Or 2210 - Or 2364 • Theatrical playbills from Britain and Ireland (OCR text only) • Portraits of actors, views of theatres and playbills (covering 1750 - 1821 in a single volume) • Volumes of Lysons Collectanea (Amusements), comprising broadsides, cuttings, advertisements on amusements.1660- 1840. • Have a look at the data. • Data Quality • Issues Or an idea you have thought of what to do with the data! Smaller datasets

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. 90 seconds (270 words) I manage a project at the British Library called British Library Labs or ‘BL Labs’ for short. It’s made up of a team of 4 people and we also work occasionally with our Digital Research and Digital Scholarship colleagues. The project’s been running for over 4 years and is kindly supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the BL. <CLICK> I am going to take you on a journey so that you learn about our experiences of working with the BL‘s digital collections. I will identify issues, challenges, problems and solutions we have encountered and look at the impact our work is having. I will show you how and why we have engaged with a range of people using our data, highlighting their work and findings, and present some of the lessons we have learned and examine the wider impact of the project on the Library and other organisations.<CLICK> A link to download my presentation appears on the bottom of each slide and for those of you using social media I have also included some relevant tags if you would like to tweet.
  2. 3 seconds (10 words) BL Labs encourages researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators and anyone else <CLICK>
  3. 73 seconds (220 words) BL Labs is based at the British Library in London, which was founded in 1973, though it’s origins stem back to the British Museum in 1753. It’s probably the largest research library in the world. The St Pancras site which you can see, opened in 1997 and stores many of the frequently requested items around the building including 4 stories below the ground floor. Much of the collection has been built up through legal deposit, where a copy of every UK and Ireland publication must be given to us.<CLICK> The St Pancras building can seat 1,200 researchers across 5 reading rooms where our readers can access collection items. We get around half a million visitors per year.<CLICK> Medium and long term requested items are held at Boston Spa 300km away from London, in huge ‘factory like’ storage facilities. For example, building 37 as pictured, is a low oxygen warehouse, using robots to retrieve items . Boston Spa also has a reading room and it takes 48 hours for requested items to get to London or vice versa. In total, the library has over 700 km of shelving across both sites, growing by 12 km every year. <CLICK> Finally, we also manage the public lending right at Stockton-on-Tees around 400km from London, which is the Author’s right to payment each time an in-copyright book is borrowed from a public library.
  4. 85 seconds The picture you can see is inside the main building in London, it’s the King’s Library – King George the Third’s personal library! Sometimes known as the ‘stack’, I walk past this everyday and I sometimes forget that the collections the British Library have are truly staggering! We currently estimate them to exceed <click>150 million items, representing every age of written civilisation and every known language. Our archives now contain the earliest surviving printed book in the world, the Diamond Sutra, written in Chinese and dating from 868 AD…. So some big numbers… Over …<click>14 million books <click>60 million patents <click>8 million stamps <click>4 million maps <click>3 million sound recordings <click>1.6 million music scores <click>over .3 million manuscripts <click>0.8 million serials titles (which are of course made up of many many volumes/editions), this is where a lot of our content is, just in case you thought the numbers didn’t add up!
  5. 42 seconds (128 words) The Library focuses most of its work and collaborations through it’s 8 year Living Knowledge vision. Initiated in 2015, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Library, our vision is to make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone, for research, inspiration and enjoyment and be the most open, creative and innovative institution of its kind by 2023. The Library’s two core purposes are to build, curate and preserve the UK national collection of published, written and digital content and to support and stimulate research of all kinds.<CLICK> We also support businesses helping them to innovate and grow, engaging everyone with memorable cultural experiences, inspiring young people and learners of all ages and working with international partners around the world to advance knowledge and mutual understanding.
  6. 23 seconds (71 words) Though the project focusses on working and communicating with Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship researchers, we have also engaged with amazing Artists, Librarians, Curators, Educators, Entrepreneurs, Archivists, Software Developers and other innovators. Hopefully, I will show you<CLICK> some inspirational examples of work they have done which have used our digital collections.<CLICK> I will also reflect on our experiences, challenges and lessons we have learned working with some amazing and pioneering people.
  7. 75 seconds (225 words) Here are the kinds digital research methods our digital scholars are using.<CLICK> For example, searching for items based on and time and location can reveal very interesting patterns, e.g. when and where works were published. Geotagging digitised objects, putting them in space can add new dimensions to the kinds of research questions we might want to ask. <CLICK> Corpus analysis of text in language and Text mining are methods which can find patterns in text through computational analysis.<CLICK> Tasks that require humans to use technology to complete a task that computers would hard fall under the area of Crowdsourcing and Human Computation<CLICK> Annotation involves augmenting an item with additional information, usually text.<CLICK> Similarly transcribing can be the conversion of speech into text through human or computing power to then be used for further analysis. <CLICK> Providing Application Programming Interfaces or APIs to data can be very powerful ways for computational access to datasets, used by software developers to build software applications for example. <CLICK> Many researchers want to see the patterns that are emerging in large amounts of data and are now using a number of very powerful tools to visualise them to see patterns. <CLICK> What is clear is that digital methods are much more that searching for an individual item in a catalogue and Libraries, publishers, service and content providers have to change to support that.
  8. 6 seconds (20 words) BL Labs focuses on getting people to experiment with its digital collections, things that are already <CLICK> born digital<CLICK> or digitised.
  9. 36 seconds (110 Words) <CLICK> In 2013, legal deposit was extended to cover non-print material, consequently we have been collecting UK websites through the UK Web Archive, e-books, e-journals, CDs, DVDs etc. As a result terabytes and billions of items are being archived at the BL every year. <CLICK> We are the headquarters of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science and BL Labs is active research partner.<CLICK> We are also part of the Knowledge Quarter London Hub, comprising of 80 world class knowledge based organisations situated within a 1km radius of the BL, sharing ideas, best practice, meetings and events e.g.<CLICK> Companies such as Google and our sister organisation the British Museum to name a few.
  10. 24 seconds (72 words) The BL are world renowned experts in digitising materials from our physical holdings. One common misconception that many people have is that much if not all of our collections are digitised. So, the actual proportion of our collections that are digitised surprises many<CLICK> The figure is around 3% of our physical collections.<CLICK> Much of our digitisation activity happens through partnerships with commercial, philanthropic, charitable and foundation partners<CLICK> What is for certain, is the amount we are digitising is increasing rapidly. Our new programme called Heritage Made Digital for example prioritises those collections for digitisation where there is a clear researcher demand.<CLICK> One important thing we have learned is that researchers need to take heed when doing research based on our digital collections, as they are rarely complete, having gaps and not necessarily being representative of our physical collections.
  11. 76 seconds (228 words) So let’s have a very brief overview of our digital collections, datasets and derived data. <CLICK> We have thousands of playbills from theatres, cuttings from magazines, books and millions of newspaper pages digitised, including their Optically Character Recognised text.<CLICK> We have been using external platforms to host our digital collections because this is often a more effective way to make them more visible on the internet, such as Flickr and Wikimedia Commons. We have of course been helping develop the Qatar Digital Library, making digitised manuscripts available from the middle east to all. The International Dunhuang Project makes digitised manuscripts from China available. The Polonsky foundation is helping us make Hebrew Manuscripts accessible and we have thousands of geo-referenced historic maps as well as an online crowdsourcing geo-referencer tool.<CLICK> We are making millions of Library data available from UK and Irish National Library catalogues through our British National Bibliography service<CLICK> We can provide usage data from our readers. EtHOS holds all UK PhDs, either born digital or some digitised, and as previously mentioned the UK Web Archive.<CLICK> We have been recording English language TV news broadcasts since 2010 and archiving historic and current UK radio programmes.<CLICK> We have derived data from the Digital Music Lab project which analysed world and traditional music to look for similarities across countries, digitised sheet music and digitised environmental sounds, music and oral history.
  12. 56 seconds (169 words) Despite our digital collections being a small fraction of our physical holdings and over 85% only being available onsite, here are some ways you can find out about our openly licensed cultural heritage collections. <CLICK> First, on the Labs website we have created a guide pointing to over 100 digital collections. Then as of today, curators have created nearly 200 collections guides by subject, each one having a section on what is available digitally onsite and online if relevant.<CLICK> As part of the Labs project and overall data strategy for the Library we have created a data service, ‘’ where users can download over 100 datasets. Importantly, it provides the ability to download entire collections instead of single items. Each collection is treated as a dataset with it’s own citeable Digital Object Identifier (D.O.I) for replicable research purposes. The site also includes derived data from experiments that have been carried out on our digital collections.<CLICK> Please note that not all of these datasets are discoverable on all search engines.
  13. 33 seconds (99 words) Given these challenges, the Library has to do lots of external engagement, to tell people what we have. Every year we have a roadshow around the UK and sometimes we get to go to other places in the world, such as Qatar, thank you Milena.<CLICK> We do this to partly ‘de-bunk’ the myths about the Library.<CLICK> And to show / tell researchers about the reality of our data.<CLICK> What we have learned is that researcher’s project ideas of what they want to do with our digital collections always change once they explore and see the reality of our data.
  14. 28 seconds (85 words) This what I imagine it feels like for a researcher looking for our physical collections. <CLICK> Everything is on an industrial scale and it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes it isn’t always straightforward to find our items, as there are many that are not on our digital library catalogue, e.g. still on card catalogues and some items are in the secret and very secure parts of the Library where you would need very special permission because the items are extremely valuable and fragile for example.
  15. 36 seconds (109 words) Our digital offering is perhaps like this.<CLICK> Imagine entering a boutique sweet shop. We have some lovely things to tempt you, but it’s much smaller than the hypermarket you just visited. The shop keeper tells you there are some things behind the back door in a giant warehouse. However, you will need special access to enter that space. She also states that there are rooms in that warehouse, even she isn’t allowed to look. She isn’t even allowed to share the full list of stock because there are items on there she may never be able to be see because they were meant to be secret.
  16. 26 seconds (66 words) So why is so ‘little’ digitised? Simply put, it costs money, time and resources to digitise physical materials to a professional standard. However, even though our digitised collections are a small fraction of our physical, combined with our born digital collections they still represent an impressive and sometimes un-imaginable amount of data.<CLICK> Currently we have 702 collections, ranging from the UK Web which includes billions of websites, to a collection of 130 digitised Chinese scroll maps. Some items on this list are confidential and require due diligence/risk management before we can tell the world about them.
  17. 35 seconds (106 words) Further analysis of our digital collections reveals that only 15% (that’s 105 collections) are openly licensed of which four fifths are available online. <CLICK> 85% of our digital collections are only available onsite. Each month, more collections are being made available under an open access license, through our ‘Access and Re-use’ committee, but this takes time, especially for collections that were digitised before 2012, when we didn’t have such a group.<CLICK> Here’s a breakdown of our digital collections by type, <CLICK> Our digitised collections include born digital, e-acquistions, and of course the results of many digitisation projects funded by public/private partnerships, some of which are still in progress.
  18. 41 words (125 seconds) Our work in Labs has taught us that it always pays for researchers to know the back ‘story’ of a digital collection especially if they want to use it for research and analysis.<CLICK> There are too many things to consider right now, but a few highlights are such as, ‘are there gaps in the collection?’, ‘can they still be accessed?’, but perhaps most important of all is whether the curator or a human being who knows about the collection is still around who could be asked about it. Our experience has told us that so much will probably be in their head that isn’t written down, information that could be vital, important and useful for knowing about before carrying out research or re-use.
  19. 11 seconds (24 words) Giving access to our openly licensed digitised materials is obviously much easier than<CLICK> Digital collections that are only available onsite such as those that are still within copyright to name one of many reasons.<CLICK>
  20. 9 seconds (28 words) So, how do we give access to onsite-only Digital Collections at the British Library? (that’s the 85% of our data).Well there are further challenges in doing this.
  21. 55 seconds (167 words) <CLICK>Sometimes digital content is only available onsite due to license restrictions, or even only on a specific computer in a reading room! Technically of course, there are actually very few reasons why digital content can’t be online, though it might be too big or it hasn’t been transferred from the original digital media device it was stored on, such as CD, minidisc, Vinyl for example.<CLICK> Sometimes, access is provided through a paywall. Finally, <CLICK> some content is in the happy sunny place, online, open and freely available to all of humanity. The real reasons why there are challenges to accessing digital content are of course human. They require different approaches from the Library and may often involve an honest, open dialogue and negotiation with the publishers who gave us the content in the first place. The Labs project has tried to address this problem by creating a ‘residency model’ where they are security cleared using hot desks in staff areas or trailing areas in the reading rooms <CLICK> for researchers to work intensively with a digital collection on-site, so as to not infringe access conditions.
  22. 49 seconds (148 words) So what kind of conversations do we have with researchers who may want to use our digital collections and data?<CLICK> The dialogue typically can be: ‘Ah, you are ‘lucky’ & we have the exact digital content / data relevant to your research’, informally we call these our ‘lucky dip researchers’.<CLICK> Or the conversation might go like this…’Ah, we don’t exactly have what you are looking for, but here is what we do have, is there anything of interest that you like? Let’s talk…<CLICK> We have learned that engagement can be hard work. But it’s constantly required to maintain interest in our digital collections because they aren’t all instantly discoverable on search engines.<CLICK> We also tend to attract researchers with ‘fuzzier’ and ‘flexible’ research boundaries and those who are possibly open to more interdisciplinary / collaborative research.<CLICK> Finally, we have found that artists find this dialogue easier.
  23. 12 seconds (37 words). In another way, we are trying to match our audiences research needs and digital interests <CLICK> With the digital collections we have<CLICK> It is at this intersection where Labs works best and it usually starts with a conversation.
  24. 24 seconds (72 words) Let’s look a little further at the types of interactions we have with our researchers. We have summarised these phases as ‘Exploration’ where people often ‘rethink’ their ideas of what they want to do with the data, ‘Query-Focused’ where they often have to iterate to come up with a realistic proposal of what they want to do and a ‘Wrap-up’ phase to end their project with us, if it is relevant.
  25. Examples from the Cooper Hewitt collection. I spent 3/5 of my time at the Cooper Hewitt just trying to get the data clean enough to vaguely represent the collection. The problem is that computers think U.S., U. S. , U.S.A., U. S. A. , United States, United States of America are six different places. Fields also contain things like internal notes about potential duplicates, unexpected extra information - notes on what type of location, etc. Lots of inconsistencies - uncertainty and date ranges expressed in different ways. More common GLAM issues - What year is 'early 18th century'? What do you do with '1836 (probably)'?
  26. Open Refine is an amazing tool, and I wouldn't have gotten anywhere at Cooper Hewitt without it. It will suggest ways to make the data more consistent. You can then export the data and keep working on it in other tools, or put it into Open Refine. Because Refine runs locally it can be used for sensitive data you mightn't put online. One issue is that GLAMs tend to use question marks to record uncertainty in attribution, but Refine strips out all punctuation, so you have to be careful about preserving it (if that's what you want). Takes in TSV, CSV, *SV, Excel (.xls and .xlsx), JSON, XML, RDF as XML, and Google Data documents. useful advice
  27. 39 Seconds (117 words) We have been learning that characterising our data is a really valuable way for researchers to begin to understand what we have. Though this is pretty resource intensive, we have carried out some simple experiments. <CLICK> Here, you can see that an analysis of our catalogue data reveals the use of different versions of the Dewey Decimal System across the years.<CLICK> Secondly, in the left column you can see what looks like random data/noise. However, when grouped, we can see the dark blue visualisation indicates there is some similarity in the data, in this case it was subtitles from digitised TV broadcasts.<CLICK> We know this is something we should do more of, if we had more resources.
  28. 21 Seconds (65 Words) Katrina Navickas was particularly interested in the <Click>Chartist Movement who were a group who were campaigning for the vote for working people. <Click>They were the biggest popular movement for democracy in 19th century British history, just as this is early picture shows a huge monster meeting at Kennington Common<Click>She wanted to use a combination of manual and computational methods to explore our Digitised Newspapers to find out when and where they met and plot them on map. <Click>and hopefully unearthing new history.
  29. Posts small illustrations taken almost at random from the digitised book corpus to a Tumblr blog. This experiment with undirected engagement was a by-product of work to uncover the hidden wealth of illustrations within the digitised pages.
  30. 27 Seconds (82 Words) Adam Crymble <Click>wanted to harness the power of playing fun games on arcade machines to help with crowdsourcing the tagging of un-described images. He particularly wanted to engage a younger audience into crowdsourcing .<Click>On the right you can see a replica 1980’s arcade machine we built and <Click>and on the bottom left some tagging games that were developed through a ‘Games Jam’ for the machine. <Click>. Let’s take a closer look at two of the games…<Click>
  31. 18 Seconds (56 Words) Indexing BL the 1 million & Mapping the Maps – was led by James Heald and collaboration with others <Click>They produced an index of 1 million 'Mechanical Curator collection' images on <Click>Wikimedia Commons from a collection of largely un-described images. <Click>This gave rise to finding 50,000 maps within the collection partially through a map-tag-a-thon <Click>These are now being geo-referenced. <Click>
  32. 15 seconds (47 Words) Start a conversation, generate positive energy, be nice, have fun and try to support ideas.<CLICK> Start with small experiments, but think big! <CLICK> Fail faster (don’t be afraid) and persevere. <CLICK> Reject perfectionism! Good enough is sometimes…good enough! <CLICK> Celebrate the uses of digital collections, tell the world!