Mmmonk is a collaboration project of the Bruges Public Library, Grand Seminary of Bruges, Diocese of Ghent and Ghent University Library. The project aims to bring together the 734 remaining manuscripts of the Flemish abbeys Ten Duinen, Ter Doest, Sint-Pieters and Sint-Baafs, using IIIF as its main technology. The project wants to be the driving force behind the complete integration of IIIF within the cultural heritage users of Flanders.
As a small city library we do not have the IT-infrastructure, IT-staff and IT-budget to construct a complete custom-made IIIF-environment. This threshold is experienced by many small institutions. We wanted to turn this disadvantage by researching how we could cater to IIIF-solutions for our manuscripts and meeting the requirements of our IIIF-inexperienced users.
In collaboration with Flemish institutes such as Ghent University Library and meemoo we were able to set up the IIIF-infrastructure needed to engage in agile minimal computing experiments.
Based on Think Aloud Testing of specialist user groups we distilled four stages for the next phase of the project. Building on existing open source code, we will develop easy tools adjusted to book historical materials and the needs of beginner users.
In the first stage we will develop a tool for the user to collect manifests and compose a corpus, independent of the institutional environment, and search these on metadata and full-text.
Second Stage is IIIF-Annotations. Medieval manuscripts are complex objects at the intersection of several disciplines. We want to build showcases demonstrating annotation layers (transcriptions, iconographical identification, illuminations, pigment analysis, …).
In the third stage we want to innovate existing guided viewing apps. The existing applications focus on the use of one-page manifests such as paintings but not on multiple materials like books. We want to develop a tool that enables story telling through several folios of several manuscripts. The tool is especially meant for education, research and public outreach for heritage institutions.
The final stage focusses on the re-use of the IIIF-images themselves. IIIF images are used mostly within the boundaries of the viewers provided by the hosting institution. We want to make users aware of the wider possibilities of IIIF for their own projects by bundling roadmaps, tutorials and workshops, e.g. embedding regions of canvasses in Wordpress. On the other hand, we want to raise awareness on how institutions can make this kind of re-use more accessible.
The results of this project will be open-source to contribute to the IIIF-community. By means of small innovations via minimal computing we will demonstrate how small institutions can make the most of their collections. Furthermore, we will educate potential users on the numerous benefits of IIIF.
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