22 January 2016
BL Labs Competition and Awards for 2016
Today the Labs team is launching the fourth annual Competition and Awards for 2016. Please help us spread the word by tweeting, re-blogging, and telling anyone who might be interested!
British Library Labs Competition 2016
The annual Competition is looking for transformative project ideas which use the British Library’s digital collections and data in new and exciting ways. Two Labs Competition finalists will be selected to work 'in residence' with the BL Labs team between May and early November 2016, where they will get expert help, access to the Library’s resources and financial support to realise their projects.
Winners will receive a first prize of £3000 and runners up £1000 courtesy of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at the Labs Symposium on 7th November 2016 at the British Library in London where they will showcase their work.
The deadline for entering is midnight British Summer Time (BST) on 11th April 2016.
Labs Competition winners from previous years have produced an amazing range of creative and innovative projects. For example:
- Adam Crymble's 'Crowdsourcing Arcade' (2015) experimented with crowdsourcing, specifically the tagging of the British Library's Flickr Commons images, through the use of a 1980s-style arcade game machine installed with specially designed games to help with tagging images.
- Katrina Navickas’ 'Political Meetings Mapper' (2015) used text mining and geo-location to find records of when and where political meetings took place in the Library's digitised newspapers, enabling anyone to access them on maps and explore the data on an interactive website.
- Bob Nicholson’s Victorian Meme Machine (2014) created a database of Victorian jokes from the Library's digital archives and reviving this humour through social media such as twitter and via the 'Mechanical Comedian'.
A further range of inspiring and creative ideas have been submitted in previous years and some have been developed further.
British Library Labs Awards 2016
The annual Awards, introduced in 2015, formally recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been carried out using the British Library’s digital collections and data. This year, they will be commending work in four key areas:
- Research - A project or activity which shows the development of new knowledge, research methods, or tools.
- Commercial - An activity that delivers or develops commercial value in the context of new products, tools, or services that build on, incorporate, or enhance the Library's digital content.
- Artistic - An artistic or creative endeavour which inspires, stimulates, amazes and provokes.
- Teaching / Learning - Quality learning experiences created for learners of any age and ability that use the Library's digital content.
A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner and £100 for the runner up for each category at the Labs Symposium on 7th November 2016 at the British Library in London, again courtesy of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The deadline for entering is midnight BST on 5th September 2016.
The Awards winners for 2015 produced a remarkable and varied collection of innovative projects in Research, Creative/Artistic, Entrepreneurship categories and a special Jury's prize:
- Research: “Representation of disease in 19th century newspapers” by the Spatial Humanities research group at Lancaster University analysed the British Library's digitised London based newspaper, The Era through innovative and varied selections of qualitative and quantitative methods in order to determine how, when and where the Victorian era discussed disease.
- Creative / Artistic: “The Order of Things” by Mario Klingemann involved the use of semi-automated image classification and machine learning techniques in order to add meaningful tags to the British Library’s one million Flickr Commons images, creating thematic collections as well as new works of art.
- Entrepreneurship: “Redesigning Alice” by Dina Malkova produced a range of bow ties and other gift products inspired by the incredible illustrations from a digitised British Library original manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll and sold them through the Etsy platform and in the Alice Pop up shop at the British Library in London.
- Jury's Special Mention: Indexing the BL 1 million and Mapping the Maps by volunteer James Heald describes both the work he has led and his collaboration with others to produce an index of 1 million 'Mechanical Curator collection' images on Wikimedia Commons from the British Library Flickr Commons images. This gave rise to finding 50,000 maps within this collection partially through a map-tag-a-thon which are now being geo-referenced.
A further range of inspiring work has been carried out with the British Library's digital content and collections.
Finally, if you have a specific question that can't be answered through these pages, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or why not come to one of the 'BL Labs Roadshow 2016' UK events we have scheduled between February and April 2016 to learn more about our digital collections and discuss your ideas?
We really look forward to reading your entries!
Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of British Library Labs.
The British Library Labs project is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.