Thursday, 4 April 2013


Quincentenary scroll, 1911, from the University of Louvain.

Meantime I've been pressing ahead with a much simpler digital display.

We have a superb collection of celebratory scrolls, sent to the University on its 500th anniversary in 1911 by universities and other educational institutions throughout the world.

With St Andrews' 600th anniversary being celebrated this year, the University's web team is developing a special section of the website to record the many 600th events currently underway or planned.   It's been decided it would be fun to display mementos from the 500th celebrations too.  This Islandora web page allows people to see the scrolls and view them close-up on the manuscript viewers.  It will be linked to from the official 600th web page when that goes live shortly.  Read more about the Quincentenary scrolls in Echoes from the Vault

Digital exhibitions

One of the things I've been tasked with in my new Digital Humanities post is creating digital versions of exhibitions the Library puts on.  Last autumn the Special Collections Department mounted a superb analog exhibition entitled A Royal Foundation: 400 Years of the King James Library, tracing the Library's history from its origins around 1612.  I'm now working with Special Collections staff and my Research Computing colleagues to produce a website which will record the "main events" of that exhibition, and retain its flavour. 
Information panel, A Royal Foundation exhibition.

The script and selection of materials have been fairly straightforward, but the "retaining the flavour" part of the project is proving more difficult!  We are hoping to translate the look of the exhibition's information panels - with their parchment background and ornamental headers and footers - into the webpages, and are currently finding that the Drupal page templates provided in Islandora seem not quite able to deliver that.
  And it would have to be said that it's a sophisticated look for someone like myself, not a professional web-designer, to try to achieve!  However, there's nothing like learning on the job, and I'm now about to experiment with a page template from Dreamweaver to see if the challenge can be met that way.  Watch this space for progress!