We were fortunate that the launch of the major academic paper on the Great Parchment Book project coincided with London Metropolitan Archives’ Charlie Turpie presenting the project at the Symposium on Evaluating Digital Cultural Resources (EDCR2016) in Glasgow on 13 December 2016.
Charlie commented afterwards that one of the themes that emerged from the symposium was that physical and digital often go hand in hand and continue to have a relationship – this came out in various papers. The Great Parchment Book presentation captured that perfectly – seeing the transformation from shrivelled parchment to digital image was a real wow for the audience. The audience also got the pathos of the membranes being preserved for 200 years just in case they could be made accessible one day.
One attendee was very pleased that the Great Parchment Book website features both the before and after shots of the folios as other projects only show the digitally enhanced images which is not as useful as having both.
That the presentation was very well received is reflected in the contemporaneous comments on Twitter of which a selection is given below:
- Fantastic #GreatParchmentBook project presented by @CharlieTurpie @LdnMetArchives #EDCR2016 Loved the poppadoms analogy!
- Gasp from audience as @CharlieTurpie shows an image of the #greatparchmentbook fragments in a box. Yikes! #edcr2016
- ‘a mass of scorched and dirty fragments’ – tricky task to create a digitised version of the #greatparchmentbook #EDCR2016
- Project allows users to navigate and flatten digital images to digitally uncover the text within. Cool! #greatparchmentbook #edcr2016
- Digital reconstruction to enable access is fab; book & its contents are also significant for local community #edcr2016 #greatparchmentbook
- Definitive article on fascinating #greatparchmentbook released today! Can’t wait to read more on it after #EDCR2016
- #greatparchmentbook is such an awesome project!
You can catch up with the Great Parchment Book project on Twitter by using the hashtag #greatparchmentbook.
The paper, published in Oxford University Press’s Digital Scholarship in the Humanities journal, is freely available online. At the time of writing it is doing very well online and is already in the top 5% of papers in Altmetric (which tracks online research outputs), and 99th centile for attention; it is the number one output from digital scholarship in the humanities.
Great Parchment Book in Finland
The Great Parchment Book’s world tour continued with Tim Weyrich, Professor of Visual Computing, Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics Group, Department of Computer Science, University College London, lead of the project digital acquisition and reconstruction, giving the keynote at SyysGraph 2016, the Finnish computer graphics scene’s leading annual event, the previous evening. His talk on Problem-Aware Digitization of Cultural Heritage Artifacts featured the Great Parchment Book as one of the case studies and he was able to promote the paper which was published the following day.