In a world when books, videos, journals, newspapers, paintings and sound archives have all been digitised, how will we research? The British Library’s “Growing Knowledge” exhibition aims to address this question, and Armadillo built both a software framework to demonstrate other examples of best practice, but also developed some next-generation software to demonstrate the art of the possible.
For the launch of the Natural History Museum’s spectacular new Darwin Centre, Armadillo were delighted to produce a Turning the Pages Gallery version of a Herbarium, taken from the NHM’s archives. As the Darwin Centre is focused on research in to the diversity of life on Earth we, rather fittingly, produced a Turning the Pages in which the pages come to life! Have a look at the video below, or visit the book at the Darwin Centre if you are able, can you spot the living things on each spread?
In 1487 William Caxton printed his first two-colour book – the Sarum Missal, a Catholic version of the mass for the Legh family, owners of Lyme Park, Cheshire. It’s an astonishing book, full of detail about the period, and it’s finally been put on display at Lyme Park using Turning the Pages. Happily, it’s back in it’s original home and visitors can now explore the last surviving pre-reformation Catholic missal – virtually.
In June 2009 The British Library launched Codex Sinaiticus, a digital re-unification of the oldest, most complete version of the bible in the world, dating from the 4th century. Various parts of the manuscript have been held in London, Leipzig, St Petersburg and St Catherine’s Monastery, so Turning the Pages was used to bring them together as one volume as they were written over 1600 years ago.
In February 2009 English Heritage launched an outstanding collection of the field notebooks and Beagle Diary of Charles Darwin, using Turning the Pages. As well as the manuscripts being available on a touchscreen, much of the transcription work is available for the first time, and the kiosk also includes evocative voiceover for both the notebooks and the diary. It’s available now at Down House, Kent and will be online at English Heritage’s website.
Working with this local authority, we have now made available their first edition of their Poems Chiefly In The Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns. We love this project. It’s just one book, but it is tremendously important for the area, and the recordings of the poems are sensational.
As part of the Darwin celebrations around the anniversaries of his birth and the publication of On the Origin of Species we have made available a digital version of the Origin. It’s the copy owned by Wallace, Darwin’s collaborator in that work, and has his annotations on many pages. It’s available now in the NHM Darwin exhibition and online shortly.
The Henry Moore Institute continue to grow their online collection of the diaries of the sculptor Helen Chadwick. These were getting increasingly fragile, and the decision to put them online led them to us. They truly do benefit from being available in a realistic format. You can find the Henry Moore Institute TTP.
After the success of providing digital versions of the works of James Joyce and WB Yeats, the latest NLI project is to provide access to some fascinating early heraldic books, documenting the Flight of the Earls in the 17th century. As well as being installed in a touchscreen onsite.
Down on the South Bank we have installed the National Theatre Digital Archive, an application that allows you to browse through hours of footage of performances at the National Theatre. Chose your camera angle, find out about the cast – it’s all here.