The nation’s sound collections are under threat, both from physical degradation and as the means of playing them disappear from production. Global archival consensus is that we have approximately 15 years in which to save our sound collections by digitising them before they become unplayable and are effectively lost. Armadillo have written a custom backend system which is helping The British Library preserve the nation’s Sound Archive, an extraordinary collection of over 6.5 million recordings of speech, music, wildlife and the environment, from the 1880s to the present day. Find out more about our work on the British Library AV SIP Tool here.
One of our all time favourite medieval books we have made in to a Turning the Pages is Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) which you can view online, or at the British Library as a Turning the Pages Gallery kiosk.
The book is one of the most influential works in the history of Western medicine. Vesalius was both a gifted dissector and a learned scholar, by collecting and presenting his research in De Fabrica he created the modern science of anatomy. The book was published in 1543, with more than 600 pages of text and beautifully detailed engravings by artists from the workshop of Titian. Looking at the engravings of the skeletons and muscle men, set in lifelike poses against the backdrop of the Italian countryside of Padua, you can see the obvious lasting influence of the book, right up to the present day with exhibitions such as Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds.
You can watch a short video capture of the interactive kiosk on our YouTube channel:
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.
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.