M-III: Manuscript Metadata Magic
View the project at this link.
The goal of this project is to use digital technologies to improve access to and create excitement around medieval manuscripts held by the Robbins Collection, a research library at the Berkeley School of Law. The Collection has one of the world’s best collections in religious and civil law, comparative law, and legal history, including early printed books and over 300 Early Modern and Medieval manuscripts. While the Collection is well-known in these fields, it could be of great interest to scholars outside them as well.
This project will focus on the Robbins Collection’s manuscripts, as one of its most unique and fascinating aspects. The manuscripts have rich textual descriptions created by scholars and reference librarians that capture each object’s content and unique physical characteristics; however, they are currently available only through a text catalogue on the Collection’s website or as records in the Law Library catalogue.
I propose to create a web interface that will serve as an online destination for the Robbins Collection and allow users to explore its manuscripts. I will enhance the existing metadata by extracting more granular information from the existing semi-structured MARC records in order to support a search interface that will make it possible for researchers to identify manuscripts of interest according to their specific criteria. I will also investigate implementing interactions that will let users view the relationships between manuscripts and see each one in its textual and historical context.
The intended scope of the project spans the I School curriculum, including information organization, database design, natural language processing, web architecture, and information visualization.