Dear Jeffrey, Raff, and Martin,
Thank you all for your helpful and inspiring replies! Jeffery's SCTA
site (http://images.scta.info) and related resources and Raff's
(http://shelleygodwinarchive.org/contents/frankenstein) are wonderful
models for me.
Jeffrey - Your site is the first time I've seen the "annotations"
feature of Mirador work. (The other sites I've seen are the 4 listed
at the bottom of this page: http://iiif.io/apps-demos.html. The final
entry, Biblissima http://demos.biblissima-condorcet.fr/mirador/, has
that annotations icon, but clicking on it didn't appear to have any
effect; most likely, I realize now, there just weren't any annotations
there to display.) The way you apply linked data is also very
illustrative and, I think, innovative.
To answer Jeffrey's question about why I'm asking about Shared Canvas,
I'm at the early stages of a project to create a tool that will allow
the documentary editors in my office (the Office of the Historian at
the State Department) to annotate scans of archival documents before
they've been fully transcribed. It would allow us to move from an
essentially paper-based workflow to a born-digital one.
Our source materials are documents that we receive as paper or scanned
images from agency repositories, the National Archives, and
To publish these documents, we rely on an admittedly backward process:
We print out all of the documents selected on paper, type our
annotations (heading, source note, footnotes) in MS Word, and use
pencil to identify the locations on each page where footnotes are to
be placed. We use sticky notes during the editorial review phase to
pass questions back and forth. We excise with razor blades. (And,
yes, shopping carts can be seen moving the manuscripts around my
office.) Then we send off the entire manuscript by mail to a vendor
to be transcribed and typeset. Each volume is sent back to us as a
PDF, a TEI file, and, in many but not all cases, a printed book.
What I am aiming for is a tool that will allow us to:
1. Ingest, then search (OCR) and browse (images) across all of our
2. Select documents from the collection for inclusion in a book.
3. Manage metadata about each document.
4. Annotate points or regions of a page, "hanging footnotes" at
specific locations, add comments, such as notes to self or
questions/suggestions for an editorial review process, and excise
(black out) portions of a page
5. Generate final copies of the manuscript: a set of final
post-excision images, with the "footnotes" in some kind of format that
would allow our typesetters to locate the desired point in the image.
I asked about Shared Canvas primarily because (1) your sites and the
Mirador demo sites on the IIIF site have nailed the interface for
browsing documents; moving across hundreds of images, zooming in and
out, filtering quickly on metadata, and (2) the Open Annotation Data
Model seems to have nailed the need to add annotations to specific
points and regions of documents. So Open Canvas gives us an image
API, server, and an annotations standard. I think Islandora even
gives us a CMS (see http://islandora.ca/ and
http://jtei.revues.org/790). But what I haven't seen yet is a tool
for applying, editing, and manipulating the annotations.
And that's the core of the challenge: how to annotate images with a
GUI tool — before the texts have been transcribed?
TEI at these early stages of production actually isn't a core
requirement. This is because we have no practical way to transcribing
the high volume of documents we review and select for publication. Of
course, if there's a TEI-friendly or TEI-compatible approach, I'd
definitely go for it.
I'd be grateful for suggestions on any aspect of this, including
tools. Anything to save us from a fate of stringing together Acrobat
Pro for annotations, folders full of PDFs on some shared network
drive, and Excel or Access for metadata management. I'm hoping for an
integrated, snappy tool that augments research, annotation, and
I'd particularly like to hear from anyone who has successfully annotated images.
p.s. Martin - and anyone else who might've had trouble finding the
annotations feature on Jeffrey's site - here's how:
> Jumping into this conversation: I can find Peter Gracilis, but where can I
> get to or see “folio 12r” I don’t see any notations of that kind on any of
> the images.
1. Go to http://images.scta.info
2. Click on the "Add Item" button in the middle of the window
3. In the "Filter objects" field, enter "Gracillis"
4. Click on the gray "IIIF" icon or the "Peter Gracillis" label - NOT
one of the page images
5. You'll see a screen of page images. Find the one labelled "folio 12r"
6. Turn on “annotations” by clicking the little comment icon in the
bottom left corner. You'll know this worked because a few blue boxes
will appear at the bottom of the page. Hover on them to show the
annotations, and you can scroll within the annotations to find links.