The first day of the ReIReS DH Course organized by the KU Leuven showed impressingly how digitisation techniques and digital tools can enrich research.
Diving into Questions
Guided by Bruno Vander Meulen, the audience first dived into some general aspects of digitisaion. If there is one thing that has become clear from his insightful presentation, it is that digitisation is more than photographing a book. It starts and continues with asking questions, questions, and questions. Questions like: What infrastructure will you use? What technique will you apply? What is the quality of an object? How are you going to open up your collections? Frow whom are you doing it?
Researchers need and can benefit from digitisation technology, while technology asks questions to the researcher what do you want to know? What do you want to store for a long term?
Diving into Digitisation Technologies
Hendrik Hameeuw helped the attendants diving deepter into the technical aspects of digitisation, giving a theoretical and technical introduction to the multi-spectral Microdome and whitelight Microdome. He also emphasized that researchers always have to ask themselves what they want to do with all the data they are collecting using these microdomes.
Diving into the Objects
After this, Prof. Lieve Watteus helped the attenddants diving into the objects with the help of the Microdomes,, explaining how special imaging techniques as proviced by the microdomes create a third knowledge level. She explained this process by means of the wonderful illustrated Anjou Bible, available at the Maurits Sabbe Library in Leuven.
Anjou Bible of the Maurits Sabbe Library
Diving into IIIF
The afternoon was reserved for IIIF, a tool which is about enhancing image access to multiple digital repositories and for accessing objects from anywhere in one’s own viewer. Roxanne Wyns (LIBIS/KU Leuven) explained the tool, showed its options, and gave instructions to the participants on how to work with it themselves.
Finally, the GEPHI tool for Historical Network Research was explained and practiced.
All in all, it was a very instructive day, with a lot of material for further study and with useful practical tips.