Friday, April 22, 2016

Sat 23rd April may be the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death but the literary legacy continues to thrive and live on in our increasingly data oriented world. Will's World was a JISC Discovery project ran in 2012-13 in which EDINA sought to demonstrate the value and principles of aggregation as a tactic Will's World is still available and provides a registry of Shakespeare related resources and services, and searchable metadata aggregated from those resources, so you can search everything at once.

In 2012-13 we ran a series of Will’s World online hack events. Hackathons are events where technical and creative people with different expertise like software developers, graphic designers and project managers get together for an intense period of collaboration to develop applications and explore concepts. Information about the Will’s World hacks are available on the Will’s World blog, including the YouTube video introducing the hacks.

still from a promotional video

The concept behind this project was that assembling online data sources relating to one topic will add value and improve the discoverability of these resources; making it easier for developers and service providers to build services and ultimately providing an easier access for all to the data itself and enriched content based on it.

We have built and populated a registry of metadata of digital resources relating to Shakespeare, covering anything from his work and life to modern performance, interpretation and geographical and historical contextual information.

During the process of development and exploring the possibilities of aggregation and metadata enhancement, we documented our progress and discoveries in a blog which you can see here:

The metadata registry includes data from the following sources (the number of records available from each collection is shown in brackets):

  • JISC MediaHub (72,635)
  • National Library of Scotland digitised prompt books (11)
  • National Library of Scotland catalogue search results (10,226)
  • Culture Grid search results (Europeana) (465,214)
  • British Museum collection database search results (4,274)
  • BBC Restless World podcasts and programme/object metadata (20)
  • Open Library records (14,241)
  • British Library UK Web Archive search results (1,074,664)

We have also used the Unlock API to enhance British Museum metadata through text mining and geo tagging.

If you run your own hack, or make use of the Will’s World resources in new ways we’d love to hear about. Let us know with a tweet using the #WillDiscover and/or #WillHack hashtags!