This past Winter 2019/20 the Digital Imaging Unit and Centre for Research Collections Museums teams hosted two student interns to support the development of the new Digital Wall, which opened in the University of Edinburgh’s main Library in September 2019. The students, Dario Lucarini (Napier University) and Tom Hutton (Edinburgh College of Art), were tasked with the following:
- Research other Digital/Video Walls in Higher Ed to inform the Wall’s development strategy
- Gather student user experience feedback to inform strategy
- Start programming the Digital Wall with digitised content from our Library and University Collections
Both students were fully supported by L&UC staff from the Digital Imaging Unit, Centre for Research Collections – Museums, Academic Support Librarians and uCreate Studio.
After consultations with various university’s and national libraries who maintain their own digital/video walls, Dario published an internal report, The Digital Wall in the Academic Library, which included recommendations incorporated into our forthcoming Digital Wall Strategy.
“The internship at the University of Edinburgh Digital Library Wall has given me the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in interacting with digital archiving projects and explore different sides of digital exhibition practices in academic environments. It made me connect with people that offered me a better insight on topics, such as the functioning of different visualization tools, that I had only a theoretical understanding of.” — Dario Lucarini
Tom published three digital exhibits around geologist Charles Lyell, Scottish poet Robert Burns and Women’s History Month. He additionally carried out student focus groups to gather user experience feedback to inform Dario’s report and the subsequent strategy.
“Working on the Digital Wall was a great learning experience. Before starting my internship, I had admittedly never engaged with Edinburgh University’s collections before. Delving into the thousands of artworks and artefacts to curate mini-exhibitions gave me the chance to encourage other library users to interact with our expansive digital archive. Digital displays in libraries and museums are becoming more and more prevalent, and I think UofE is ahead of the curve with their wall.” – Tom Hutton
While the COVID-19 will create obvious challenges to the management and development of the Digital Wall, we look forward to continuing to provide digital curation experiences to incoming students.
Thank you to Tom and Dario for getting us started!
Image Credits: Carla Arton
Post by Carla Arton, Digitisation and Digital Engagement Manager, Digital Imaging Unit