The augmented browsing of books in historical libraries

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Carolina Rediviva Periodicals Reading Room (floor 6)
  • Lecturer: Nicholas Pickwoad, University of the Arts London
  • Organiser: Uppsala University Library
  • Contact person: Per Cullhed
  • Föreläsning

Nicholas Pichwoad at the University of Arts London talks about a project that has resulted in two AR-apps, where you can browse through books in historical collections. The project was funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council, (AHRC).

Nicholas Pickwoad is a bookhisroian, conservator and professor at the University of Arts London. His description of the project:

The project addresses a significant problem faced by many libraries which present large numbers of shelved books in rooms accessible to the public in either historic buildings (e.g. country houses, cathedral and monastery libraries, older university and college collections, etc.) or national or other public libraries, which present books to the public in publically accessible rooms. This project aims to make the books in such library collections either wholly or partly available to visitors to the rooms through Augmented Reality technology, which will allow the books to be ‘browsed’ on-site, through a mobile device, without removing the books from the shelves.

The library in the National Trust property Wimpole Hall, outside Cambridge, was chosen for this work, as the book collection is fully catalogued but the books remain inaccessible to visitors to the property, both because they are shelved and handling is not allowed and because many of them are on shelves which are at a considerable distance from the public as they tour the house.

The presentation will include an account of the background to the project, the processes involved in creating the apps and the metadata and a demonstration of both of the apps, with the opportunity for attendees to try them out themselves. There will be an opportunity to discuss how the apps might be used in the host library and what adaptations might be useful to suit individual collections.