Digital scholarship blog

2 posts from March 2014

27 March 2014

Tracking Public Domain Re-use in the Wild

We folks over at #bldigital are excited to be partnering with Technology Strategy Board and IC tomorrow on their next Digital Innovation Contest. £25K is up for grabs to encourage digital innovation in data. 

Our challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to encourage and establish the necessary feedback loop for tracking and measuring the use and impact of the public domain content we make available online.

The Library seeks to enrich the cultural life of the nation and stimulate economic and social growth and the release of 1 million images and counting into the public domain and on to Flickr Commons is one way in which we hope to fulfill that mission.


But what happens when this content is released into the wild? Once online, we have little way of following that content as it is re-used, which makes it difficult to measure the creative and economic benefits of having done so.  

At the moment we try and capture innovative re-use as best we can manually, primarily by scouring social media channels for mentions, but this is hardly sustainable nor scalable and we know there is much inspired activity we are missing. 

Colouring-In Pages for Children by Zoe Toft

What we need is an innovative solution for enabling the sharing of this content on platforms which are popular but outside of our control, while retaining the ability to see how it has eventually been remixed and reused.

A formidable challenge we know, and one which is shared by anyone putting content online today. Think you might be able to crack it? Visit IC Tomorrow for more details on the call. Closing date is noon on May 7, 2014.


13 March 2014

50th Anniversary!

Today with the running of “103 Digitisation at British Library” we mark the 50th course provided in our staff Digital Scholarship Training Programme!

This internal staff training programme is one of the cornerstones of the Digital Research Team’s work at the British Library, and is one of the most rewarding things we get up to! It began in late 2012 as an initiative to give colleagues the space and opportunity to delve into and explore all the potential that digital has to offer in the research domain today. Since the first course we have had over 245 individual staff members attend one or more, with 653 seats filled over all! 

The programme continues to evolve but we wanted to share a snapshot of how we got started:

Download Example Training Flyer Semester 1
Download Example Training Flyer Semester 3

Download Example FAQs
Download Dh2013_ShortPaper

And a special thanks to all of our instructors who have made it such a success!

Owen Stephens
James Cummings
Stuart Dunn
David Haynes
Sharon Howard
Ned Potter
Ernesto Priego
Mia Ridge

Contact us at if you are interested in learning more.