Paper 17

2018 Washington conference submission

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Science in the Making: opening up the archives of the Royal Society through IIIF, web annotations, and generous interfaces.

Matthew McGrattan - Digirati (United Kingdom)

Abstract: As the world’s oldest scientific publisher, the Royal Society has a vast, rich archive of material surrounding the history of scientific research and publication: first drafts and manuscripts, referees reports, correspondence, original illustrations and photographs. For the first time these archives have been digitised and made available in a web site, fully driven by IIIF from the ground up. I will present the site and show how we used W3C Web Annotations to allow users to tag archival items using controlled Library of Congress subject headings and create their own transcriptions. I will show how this ever-growing corpus of user-generated tags can be combined with curated content and metadata from The Royal Society’s archive catalogue, to provide a topic-driven generous interface into the archival material. I will also show how we created timelines and graph driven navigation across collections of archival content.

Presentation type: 10 minute lightning talk


  • IIIF and archival collections


  • Archives,
  • Science,
  • Crowd-sourcing,
  • Topic-driven navigation