Working both at the Arts and Humanities Data Service, as Programme Manager for the Jisc’s Digitisation and Content Programme and at The European Library, I’ve been lucky enough to work with hundreds of digital resource projects in the UK and beyond.
Most of them have had fabulous, engaging content. But many have had serious problems in working out where to go after the initial project digitisation has ended.
The Old Bailey Online, on the other hand, has been striking in expanding beyond the initial digitisation work and exploring the implications of having such a largetranscribed corpus available. So we have seen
Criminal Intent – Not just full-text search – Undertaking big data analysis over the corpus
Connected Histories – Searching over multiple related sources related to early modern Britain
Locating London’s Past – Geographically maping crime and other social issues
Voices from the Old Bailey – Public History on the radio
Garrow’s Law – Inspiring and Informing a BBC tv drama series
Using the Old Bailey for Teaching –
Exploring the issues of citation and impact (pdf)
Plenty of other routes have been discussed and challenged – eBooks being written which dynamically site data from the website; student unconferences; exposing the API to various other resources
Many digital resources offer the chance to do new radically news types of scholarship and public engagment, but we’ve not always grasped the opportunity to do so. The team behind the Old Bailey Online have done this, sustaining not just the original resource, but pushing it down new methodological and digital channels that others have feared to tread