Trinity College Dublin is one of the lead institutions in the IIIF4Research Network. As a part of this, the Library of Trinity College Dublin hosted a IIIF4Research online seminar on Monday 28th February 2022, between 4pm and 6pm GMT.

The focus of the Trinity College Dublin seminar, was to illustrate the potential of IIIF to unite dispersed collections can be valuable to scholars across a range of disciplines, including literary studies, Celtic studies, manuscript studies and the early modern cartographic materials in the Fagel collection. Through a series of short case studies, and informal networking, this seminar highlighted the potential of IIIF to transform scholarly and public engagement with digital collections and to facilitate innovative forms of arts and humanities research.

Speakers included:

  • Dr. Mark Faulkner, Ussher Assistant Professor in Medieval Literature (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Benjamin Albritton, Rare Books Curator, Stanford Libraries
  • Danielle Jansen, Linked Data Specialist, KB, National Library of the Netherlands
  • Dr. Peter Crooks, Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer in Medieval History (Trinity College Dublin)

Recording of the event

The event was recorded in five parts. The playlist is accessible here:

Or you can watch the five parts in the embedded videos below:

Introduction and Mark Faulkner
Ben Albritton
Danielle Jansen
Peter Crooks

Summary of the event

Mark Faulkner kicked off the presentations with a presentation on “IIIF and challenges in teaching, researching and engaging the public with medieval manuscripts.” With no personal hands-on experience of working with IIIF and a focus on the interface between object and text, Mark provides a valuable perspective on how IIIF can offer a route for intervention for key academic pursuits in medeival studies. In particular, he questions how we can actually define and describe digitised medieval texts in a standardised way given the broad array of versions that might exist. Equally he highlights that IIIF opens the possibility to vastly increase the data available to medievalists, allowing for side by side comparison of versions, alongside a wealth of metadata and the possibility for collaborative tasks. All of this opens new and exciting opportunities for research, teaching and public engagement.

Ben Albritton presents a talk entitled “IIIF for Medieval Manuscripts”, in many ways amplifying many of the points raised by Mark in the first talk, focusing on the issues still faced in the presentation and use of IIIF. He addresses how Mirador allows a user to bring together disparate collections in a side by side viewer, augmenting them with annotations. This unprecedented ability for comparative work, combined with an explosion of digitisation efforts is as exciting for researchers as it is problematic for discoverability. Ben provides a practical demonstration of how manuscripts might be compared, before addressing some of the more inovative opportunities utilising, for example AI or features of IIIF itself, to create new, persistent datasets for a variety of purposes.

Danielle Jansen builds further on the conversation focusing in on “IIIF in the KB: The Fagel Collection”. Delving into some of the more technical aspects of IIIF Danielle explores how a IIIF protocol has been implemented to publish and use IIIF images and metadata as a form of linked data. Focusing on the Fagel project, which has a focus on conserving and cataloguing the Fagel Collection, Danielle explores the challenges that arose from manually trying to engage with this collection and make it more accessible and reunify the collection from the disparate holdings across Europe. They joined the IIIF consortium about a month prior to the event so discusses the early stages of engaging with this to achieve their aims.

Finally, Peter Crooks rounds off the event with his presentation on the project Beyond 2022: Ireland’s Virtual Record Treasury, a project that works internationally folding in the archival sector to reconstruct the archival collections that were destroyed in a fire during the civil war in 1922 in time for the centenary. As an ambitious interdisciplinary project, they are bringing together and enhancing discovery of collections dispersed across the world. They have created a virtual reality space of the original building, incorporating IIIF allow users to explore the virtual space and the collections contained within.