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Digital Scholarship Training
Programme at British Library
James Baker, Digital Curator
Digital Scholarship at British Library
“The production, use and
integration of digital content,
services and tools to facilitate
scholarship and research. It
allows research areas to be
investigated in new ways,
using new tools, leading to
new discoveries and analysis
to generate new
Head of Digital Scholarship
Created in 2010, the department
works to enable….
• production of digital content
• sharing and integration of
• wider collaboration and
contribution around digital
• complex analysis & facilitation of
What is a Digital Curator?
• Digital Curators at the British Library
explore how digital technologies are
re/shaping research and how this
informs how the library does its
• The team supports staff across the library
to identify the opportunities that digital
tools and collections afford in modern
scholarship and to gain the skills to
engage confidently in this area.
• We partner with libraries and institutions to
enable innovation in digital scholarship.
• No specific collection but rather expertise
in digital scholarship, broadly defined.
James Baker Nora McGregor
Stella Wisdom Aquiles
• Staff across all collection areas have the opportunity to become familiar
and conversant with the foundational concepts, methods and tools of
• Staff can situate their collection expertise in the realm of facilitating digital
scholarship and have the practical skills to do so.
• Staff are empowered to innovate
• Cross-disciplinary collaborative digital initiatives flourish across subject
areas within the Library as well as externally
What do we hope to ultimately achieve?
Digital Scholarship Training Programme
The Digital Scholarship Training
Programme is a two-year internal
training initiative dreamed up by the
Digital Curator team that launched in
We’ve created fifteen bespoke one-
day courses for staff covering the
basics of Digital Scholarship which
we deliver on a rolling basis.
These courses are evaluated and
adapted after each run.
Plan for full restructure in 2014.
Design & Development
• Literature survey, primarily around Digital Humanities.
• Spoke to scholars.
• Researched conference themes.
• Skills survey.
• Drafted learning outcomes.
• Allocation of work
• Advice and feedback
• 101 What is Digital Scholarship?
• 102 Digital Collections at British Library
• 103 Digitisation at British Library
• 104 Communicating our collections online
• 105 Crowdsourcing in Libraries, Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions
• 106 Text Encoding Initiative
• 107 Data Visualisation for Analysis in Scholarly Research
• 108 Geo-referencing and Digital Mapping
• 109 Information Integration: Mash-ups, API’s and The Semantic Web
• 110 Managing digital research information
• 111 Social Media: Introduction to Twitter, and Blogging
• 112 Working collaboratively: Using the BL Wiki and Beyond
• 113 Presentation skills: From Powerpoint to Prezi
• 114 Foundations in working with Digital Objects: From Images to A/V
• 115 Metadata for Electronic Resources: Dublin Core, METS, MODS, RDF, XML
Time and space for
Onsite not online
Bring the outside in
So far so good!
“Great to have something often
referred to demystified”
“I’ve never done anything like this
“Well done to you and your DC
team, I have attended some of the
other courses myself and am
recommending my staff attend
“[I valued] the time to explore our ideas and
see how to develop current projects into a
more useful resource”
“…I was very grateful to attend this and
learned a great deal…Look forward to
more. Renewed thanks for organising this.”
30 course days delivered so far
205 individual members of staff
attended one or more
641 seats filled
3 courses attended pp on average
On the right track…
“We have a large collection of Canadian
photographs and associated data at the
Library and I’d been considering for
some time now ways in which to work
with them beyond simply hosting them
in a typical image gallery. The course
on Data Visualisation gave me the
space to play around with some of my
ideas for visualisations and pointed me
in the direction of free tools out there
such as Google Fusion Tables. I hadn’t
realised it was so easy to get started
and was able to see the shape of the
collection almost immediately.”
Curator Canadian & Caribbean Studies
Lessons Learned Next Steps
Reaching the less
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