Get The Edge: NUI Galway postgraduate studies

They came and filmed us in the digitisation centre back in September; you can actually see the Kirtas book scanner at about 00:40.  At other junctures you get a glimpse of Aisling‘s hands and Barry‘s heroic profile.  :-)

Seriously, a very impressive bit of work.  It’s nice to know cool things are happening on campus while you’re busy slaving over a hot book scanner all day…


A Victorian bestseller: David Roberts’ ‘The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Egypt & Nubia’.


Library Ireland Week Talk by Marie Boran, Special Collections Librarian –  happening today, Friday 20th, in room G011 of the Hardiman Research Building at 1.00 p.m.

Featuring some amazing watercolours from our Ringling-North Collection.  Here’s an interesting article about Roberts and his work and another article from The Scotsman.

“Angels with dirty faces / Kids like me and you…”

"Liars with dirty faces" - wasn't that a Jimmy Cagney movie? Or a song by Sham 69? Answers on a postcard please.

“Liars with dirty faces” – wasn’t that a Jimmy Cagney movie? Or a song by Sham 69? Answers on a postcard please.

Hear, hear!  There should be more of this sort of thing.  Can’t let any old guttersnipe show up and sniffle over all of our precious tomes.  Some of them may have TB, you know, or worse.  If it’s good enough for the Hyde Institute, it’s jolly well good enough for us here in Queen’s College!  Huzzah!

(The Queen’s College Digitisation Blog would like to convey its heartfelt thanks to Sir Barry Houlihan of this parish, for very kindly furnishing this image.)

Here’s more about the Hyde Institute in question, and a very nice watercolour of the place.

The summer hiatus is at an end, and we hope to get our Kirtas book scanner repaired soon.  Here’s to another year of digital… digitisation, and here’s a video by Sham 69 to get The Kids in the mood for some serious studiosity.

Chapter and verse.

With a new semester coming around, it’s as good a time as any to draw general attention to a very useful service that’s available to all instructors or teaching assistants with access to the Blackboard online virtual learning environment at NUI Galway. Since 2010 our license with the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency has been extended to allow the scanning of library material for Blackboard, with some restrictions.

We can scan up to 5% of any library book (or a single chapter, whichever comes first) and make it available on specific Blackboard courses in high-quality, searchable PDF format. The service also applies to articles from print journals in the library – a single article or 5% of the issue. We can upload as many different chapters to your Blackboard course as you like – as long as no two chapters come from the same book.

This all follows on from the library’s Reading List Support Service. Every year, instructors are invited to submit the reading list for their course to, so that staff can check the availability of course material in the library. Where necessary, the library can order extra copies of books, or, in the case of high-demand titles, put some on short loan. If requested, the digitisation centre can scan individual chapters for Blackboard under the guidelines laid out above.

Interested parties are welcome to contact me; alternatively you can request chapters for scanning via our web help desk.  There’s more detailed information about our scanning service at the Chapter Scanning FAQ.

(Unfortunately for legal reasons we can’t send scanned library material directly to users, and we are for the present limited to posting chapters on Blackboard only. Other open-source VLEs such as PBLearn or Moodle aren’t currently supported.)

Guerrilla Digitisation: An Introduction to Bookscanning

The Moore Institute will host a free one-day workshop, Guerrilla Digitisation: An Introduction to Bookscanning, from 11am-4pm on Monday, May 12 Tuesday, May 13. Led by Meaghan Connell (PhD student, English Department), this workshop is an introduction to the process of digitising texts using only low-cost materials. Digitised texts can be very useful to the humanities researcher; before you can use any kind of computational analysis, you must first create a machine-readable version of your text(s). With machine-readable texts, you can run corpus analyses, create concordances and collocations, and even perform stylometry analyses. If your work involves any computational analysis, or if you want to look into including computational analysis in your work, this workshop may be useful to you.

This workshop is aimed at scholars in the Arts and Humanities, both postgrad students and faculty. This is a hands-on workshop – we will be going through the build of a budget bookscanner and the entire process of scanning, post-processing, and optical character recognition. If you want to build your own budget bookscanner at the workshop, you will need to bring certain materials. Basic computer literacy is a must, but a gentle introduction to the specific software we’ll be using will be provided…

more info

This should be interesting.  Meaghan worked with us last year on some of the Abbey Theatre digitisation (see previous), using our high-end equipment, but here it looks like she’ll be dealing with cheap-and-cheerful ways to put together a scanning project for researchers.