Since April I have been an intern with the University of Edinburgh’s Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service (CHDS) and the Centre for Data, Culture and Society (CDCS), looking into text extraction processes at the University, both in library practice and thinking about how this is taught within digital scholarship. Throughout the internship I have had the opportunity to do both independent research and discussions with staff across the Library and University Collections (L&UC) to get a more in-depth understanding of text recognition processes.
Over the past 6 months, I have had the pleasure of working with the Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service team as a DAMS (Digital Asset Management System: software used to manage digital heritage collections) Assistant, working to build the foundations for the migration of these collections from the current DAMS (LUNA) to the new Digital Collections Platform (Archipelago).
In February 2022, PhD students Vesna Curlic and Ash Charlton began their digitisation internships in partnership with the University of Edinburgh’s Library and University Collections and the Centre for Data, Culture, and Society. Together, they reflect on the joys and challenges of digitisation.
We were tasked with an internship project that has two main parts – half our time is spent in the Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service’s Digital Imaging Unit (DIU) in the University’s Main Library scanning early volumes of The Student, University of Edinburgh’s student newspaper. The other half of the time, we work to develop a training pathway for the Centre for Data, Culture and Society which will direct people towards resources for undertaking their own digitising projects. This post is part one of two, reflecting on our experiences digitising The Student.
For the past eleven weeks I’ve had the opportunity to intern with the Digital Imaging Unit, working on a project to evaluate the potential of establishing a 3D digitisation service within the department. “3D digitisation” in this sense encompasses everything from the initial production of digital models – using suitable items from across the University Collections – to online display, preservation of 3D data, and 3D printing. The project was roughly organised into three phases: research, testing, and implementation.
Although I worked primarily with Susan Pettigrew (Photographer, DIU) and Mike Boyd (uCreate Manager) I always felt supported by the other Library & University Collections staff; everyone I had the chance to speak to was eager to discuss their own work on top of contributing to the project.