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Building Better GLAM Labs - Opening talk at Museum Big Data Conference - UCL Qatar

  1. 1 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the British Library Running since March 2013 Exploring using Big Data in ‘GLAM Labs' Examining Practices and prospects of using and sharing Big Data in ‘Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) digital Labs Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs, British Library, London, UK. Tuesday 1500 – 1520, 30 April, 2019 Location of Talk: Auditorium, Qatar National Library, Qatar Museums and Big Data Conference (1st International Conference organised by UCL Qatar)
  2. 2 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol For research, inspiration and enjoyment for everyone!
  3. 3 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Have you got X? Looking for Physical Content in the British Library – 7% books
  4. 4 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol #bldigital 3 %* digitised * estimate Digital Partnerships Commercial & Other Organisations Bias in digitisation Sample Generator 724 Digitisation / Born Digital Projects 15 %* Openly Licensed – most online 85 %* Available onsite only at the moment Digitisation / Curating Born Digital costs money, time, resources Research driven digitisation Heritage Made Digital Born Digital What percentage/proportion of our physical collections are digitised?
  5. 5 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Have you got X digitised / in digital form? Looking for Digitised / Digital Content in the BL
  6. 6 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Finding Open British Library Cultural Heritage Datasets Collection Guides (236 as of 30/04/2019) 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 Over 130 datasets available, some derived Transitioning to Repository Platform
  7. 7 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Developing British Library Research Repository British Library is also hosting other repositories for Museums: National Museums Scotland, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate, Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) Platform is Samvera Hyku: Developed and Hosted by: Ubiquity press (Open Access Publisher): (in development pilot programme)
  8. 8 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Playbills, Books, Newspapers (includes OCR) British Library Digital collections & Datasets British National Bibliography Music (Recordings & Sheet) & Sounds News (TV and Radio) Usage dataImages, Manuscripts & Maps Qatar Digital Library International Dunhuang Project Maps Hebrew Manuscripts Flickr & Wikimedia Commons
  9. 9 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol 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? Access / API? Can it still be accessed? Generates income Reputational risk in using? Legalities / Ethics / Morality Politics when digitised, e.g. Brexit? 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 projects …
  10. 10 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol What are Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum (GLAM) digital Labs? - a space to experiment and innovate online or onsite with digitised and / or born digital collections and data (similar to a traditional Lab) - expert support and advice - essential equipment (software, hardware, network, storage) - essential ingredients (data, text, images (including 3D), sound, video, multimedia etc) - the ability to incubate and test ideas, make mistakes, create, validate, capture, record, reproduce, archive and share results - community, tutorials, examples, events, competitions, awards, projects - integrated into reference, research and other relevant workflows of GLAM organisations in which the Lab sits
  11. 11 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol 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, learning and teaching, staff categories Talk to us about working on collaborative projects Tell us your ideas of what to do with our digital content Labs Need Engagement! • Roadshows • Events • Meetings • Conversations New! Digital Research Support How @ BL Labs?
  12. 12 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Who does BL Labs work with? Researchers Artists Librarians Curators Software Developers Archivists Educators Working and Communicating Entrepreneurs
  13. 13 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol READING ROOM NOT ONLINE OPEN Onsite @ British Library £ Labs Residency Model Competition / Digital Research Support Application Hot Desks and Digital Research Spaces in Reading Room Challenges of access to Digital Collections at the BL 724 Digitisation / Capturing Born Digital Projects 15 %* Openly Licensed – most online 85 %* Available onsite only at the moment
  14. 14 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol • Over 100 institutions visited • Over 60,000 miles travelled around UK and World! • 100s presentations & over 100 workshops • 1500 researchers / artists / entrepreneurs / educators / public • Over 1000 expressions of interest to use collections • 160 researchers, artists, entrepreneurs & educators supported –case studies • 200 TB of data via post • 9 TB of data on • Over a billion views through Labs projects Labs Engagement over 6 years
  15. 15 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol • Dialogue typically: – you are ‘lucky’ & we have the digital content / data relevant to your project – 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 projects with ‘fuzzier’ boundaries and possibly open to more interdisciplinary / collaborative research • Artists / Creatives find this dialogue easier… What engagement does the BL have with people wanting use our digital content?
  16. 16 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Our Audience and Collections Audience research & Digital interests Digital collections we have This is where Labs works It starts with making connections, engagement, talking to people! GLAMs need to invest in this!
  17. 17 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Phases of interaction at BL Labs Submit idea for support Ideas always change, once people experience the data and culture of the organisation! We use Digital Scholarship methods where appropriate
  18. 18 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Labs challenges being addressed • 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?
  19. 19 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Hard work, no magic formula!
  20. 20 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol A dozen BL Labs Lessons!
  21. 21 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Policies and processes for digital re-use are critical Having a list of digital collections vital at the start! ‘BL Labs’ lessons 1
  22. 22 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Engagement starts with people not technology! Start a conversation, generate positive energy, encourage fun/play/experimentation and try to support as many ideas as is humanly possible, be kind, nice, want to share and genuinely want to help people! ‘BL Labs’ lessons 2
  23. 23 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol ‘BL Labs’ lessons 3
  24. 24 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Run Competitions Good way to kick start engagement. Spread risk by having more than one finalist. Ensure entrants own their own IP, but all ideas are published. Good way to generate ideas for use. ‘BL Labs’ lessons 4
  25. 25 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Celebrate the uses of digital collections! Run Awards for those already using your digital materials, great way to find who is doing what with your digital content. ‘BL Labs’ lessons 5
  26. 26 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Start small but think big! Start with small experiments, digital use can be really simple, but OK to think big! ‘BL Labs’ lessons 6
  27. 27 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Keep it open, simple and don’t overcomplicate E.g. get hold of raw files and store for easy access ‘BL Labs’ lessons 7
  28. 28 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Be brave! Fail fast! Mistakes are OK! ‘BL Labs’ lessons 8
  29. 29 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Reject perfectionism, enemy of rapid progress! Good enough is sometimes…good enough! (This can be difficult message for Libraries…metadata will never be perfect!) ‘BL Labs’ lessons 9
  30. 30 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Services that allow useful exploration of cultural heritage data are rare! Try and get IT on board early, build bridges and relationships ‘BL Labs’ lessons 10
  31. 31 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Training or Collaboration? Exploring data is difficult to do with large datasets Often requires specific skills and capabilities that many of our users don’t have. ‘BL Labs’ lessons 11
  32. 32 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Success is rare, failure is common! Measure your impact from the beginning! Success is sometimes all about the right people, place & right time…so it won’t always happen… embrace failure, learn from it! ‘BL Labs’ lessons 12
  33. 33 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Labs Examples • BL Labs has over 160 examples on our website of use of BL Data • Just show you a few examples from one collection of 65, 000 digitised out of copyright books and images
  34. 34 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol British Library Flickr Commons – 1 million Images from scanned books collection
  35. 35 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol 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? Average for ‘crowd’ is 1 tag per person Mobile games for ‘Ships’, ‘Covers’ and ‘Portraits’ Interface for tagging
  36. 36 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Adam Crymble: Crowdsource Arcade 30 mins talk Labs Symposium (2015) 5 min interview (2015) Game Jam Using Arcade Games to help Tag images
  37. 37 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol SherlockNet: 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
  38. 38 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol David Normal – Artist Crossroads of Curiosity – Collage Paintings ‘It was beyond my wildest dreams’ Crossroads of Curiosity @ Burning Man 2014 Crossroads of Curiosity @ British Library 2015
  39. 39 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Tragic Looking Women 44 Men who Look 44 (Notice the direction faces) A Hat on the Ground Spells trouble Mario Klingemann – Code Artist Our first Artistic Award winner!
  40. 40 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Mario Klingemann – AI Portraits The Butcher’s Son 2018 LUMEN Prize winner
  41. 41 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol 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
  42. 42 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Imaginary Cities Exhibition – 5 April to 14 July 2019 Michael Takeo Magruder
  43. 43 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Imaginary Cities teaser Video
  44. 44 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Building Library Labs September 2018 London Building Library Labs March 2019 Copenhagen It’s all about the PEOPLE in these GLAM Labs! Next annual event Library of Congress! late April / Early May 2020 Programme: Programme: YouTube:
  45. 45 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol Get data here: (you need a google account, you can get one here: Data from Building Library Labs Survey 2018 Growing GLAM Labs International Community
  46. 46 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Global Labs List – Help of UCL Qatar Somia Ali – Research Assistant - building list up to May 2, 2019 Hand over to Fidelity Phiri – Research Fellow in May onwards Over 600 GLAMS added, some with Labs, some wanting Labs, some having digital content, some that don’t
  47. 47 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Labs Booksprint? The GLAM Labs Living Cookbook? 5 days 15 people! Another team in Australia/NZ editing, proofing and illustrating each day when other group sleeping A readsprint after and regularly? Over 120 pages output from 2 events
  48. 48 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Labs: Communication Tools Over 120 people joined! email: to be added WhatsApp Mailing List Wiki Slack Zoom Send international number to : +447871287026 to be added
  49. 49 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol What can the GLAM sector and Big Data be? • Participatory • Serendipitous • Relevant • Innovative • World leading • Open • Reproducible • Inspirational Slide courtesy of Dan Pett Head of Digital at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
  50. 50 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol We want you to join us! • Are you a national, state, university, public Gallery, Library, Archive or Museum that wants, or has a Lab? • We are very poorly resourced! Do you want to be part of the network? Contact us? • Our emerging values: – Leave your ego at the door please we have no use for it here. – Work hard, but also have fun! – Mistakes are the greatest gifts and teachers! – We want input from everyone. Make our time count. Any constructive contribution and honest question is welcomed, stupid questions are the best! – Work together; collaborate; co-operate; be kind; fearless; generous; share but be fair; have a passion to change the world, even if it’s just a little!
  51. 51 @BL_Labs @mahendra_mahey @UCL_Qatar @britishlibrary @BL_DigiSchol GLAM Data Labs network - Our Aims •Make existing or planned GLAM Labs be the best they can be •Increase our joint understanding •Build a supportive, kind, generous caring network •Tell the world what we do and what you do