Digitisation of collections Liz Selby and Helena Liszka Jewish Museum London AEJM 2011 Why digitise? • Bring your collections out of the dark • Preventative conservation • Bring your collections to new audiences • People expect digital content to be available and will do so increasingly in the future • Use your content in creative and innovative ways – either online or in collaboration with others. Don’t get left behind! Ways to use your digital content • • • • Online databases Online exhibitions Apps for smart phones and ipads Virtual tours Digitisation at the Jewish Museum London Over 15,000 items (of 28,000 in the collection) are currently digitised and searchable online: http://www.jewishmuseum.org.uk/searchour-collections-new and www.Europeana.eu Collections digitised through grant funded projects such as: • DCF/DDF (1999 onwards) – Judaica collection • Moving Here (New Opportunities fund, c.2004) - Social history collections • Judaica Europeana (2010-11) – Prints, posters, documents and oral histories Ultimate aim: digitise and upload entire collection– but dependant on receiving grants Europeana Europe’s digital libraries, archives and museums online http://www.europeana.eu/portal/ • Common point of access to millions of digital objects housed in Europe’s museums, libraries and archives • Multilingual search engine • Type of content includes documents, manuscripts, periodicals, audio recordings, pictures, photographs, posters and postcards • 1500 institutions contributing access to their collections • Access to 20 million objects online by 2013 • Judaica Europeana: Jewish content online • Brings together content under the EUROPEANA theme of cities, demonstrating specifically the Jewish contribution to Europe’s cities • Makes digital content in Europe more accessible, usable and exploitable by digitising available collections • Identifying Jewish content in collections that reflect the activities, creativity and self expression of Jews in European cities • Digitising and aggregating this content into a coherent thematic collection in order to open up access The network Judaica Europeana is a network of leading institutions which joined forces to promote Jewish cultural heritage: • European Association of Jewish Culture, London • Judaica Sammlung der Universitätsbibliothek der Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main • Alliance Israélite Universelle, Paris • Amitié, Centre for Research and Innovation, Bologna • British Library, London • Hungarian Jewish Archives, Budapest • Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw • Jewish Museum of Greece, Athens • Jewish Museum London • Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activity (MiBAC), Rome • • • • • • • • • • • • • Associate Partners Ben Uri Gallery – The London Jewish Museum of Art Biblioteca Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam Center for Jewish History, New York Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam Jewish Museum Berlin Jewish Museum, Frankfurt/Main National Library of Israel, Jerusalem Paris Yiddish Center—Medem Library Sephardi Museum, Toledo Central Zionist Archives, Jerusalem Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid Salomon Ludwig Steinheim Institute, Duisberg Museum, Frankfurt/Main Our contribution to Judaica Europeana • Digitising images, texts and oral history interviews • Producing two online exhibitions: Yiddish Theatre in London and Jewish Britain: A history in objects • Working with schools and universities Travelling trunk brought by a German refugee family to England in May 1939, The Jewish Museum London JML collections on Europeana Reach unexpected audiences Digital resources for Jewish history European Holocaust Archives Project http://www.ehri-project.eu/ Digital Yiddish Library: http://www.archive.org/details/nationalyiddishbookcenter Sponsored by Stephen Spielberg Digital Dead Sea Scrolls http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/ Reconstructing past climate change through crowd sourcing Apps – Museum of London street view Hold your mobile up to a street scene and see the same location in an archive photograph from the Museum of London collection Google art project Digitising our collections Practical considerations • Who will fund your project? • Do you have space for large 3D photography? • Do you have the right equipment? • Do you have staff hours and skills? • How will you use the digitised resources? 3D object photography Using the Digistore Working with 2D material Using volunteers • Using still life photography students from Farnborough college at the Jewish Museum • Using interns at the British Museum for the West Africa digitisation project Planning, processing, guidelines • • • • • Overview of work load In-house photography or outsourcing Selecting material Copyright checking Sorting material by size and type; creating batch lists accordingly; deciding location • Processing and re-sizing • Uploading to collections management system (Adlib) and web • Guidelines: www.minervaeurope.org/interoperability/technicalguidelines.htm Technical considerations – Need for a digital master • Best possible reproduction • Create jpegs for online use, sending by email etc – Naming the files – Digital storage Documenting your collection • Good documentation standards increase access to collections • Creation of a common language for the semantic Web using controlled terminologies eg. Creating terms on Adlib using other thesauri as reference point eg.Getty • Applying established vocabularies created by generations of librarians and scholars to the web Coffee set from Aden, brought by an Adeni family to the UK Poster for 'The Daughter of Zion' at St Luke's Hall in London, 1944 Interview with Minnie Levy about her WW2 service, recorded in 1991 on cassette tape Please discuss in groups • What are the advantages of digitising these items? • How would you approach digitisation for each object? • Which would be your priority and why? • What problems might you encounter? (technical, legal and practical) • How would you use the digitised record? Talking points • How to select what to digitise? What about those collections not digitised – ignored? Not used? • Will smaller museums with smaller budgets be left behind if they can’t digitise their collections? • Will digital objects take precedence over the real thing? • How will the increase of historical content online impact upon academic research?