Annotating digital texts in the Brown University Library
Andrew AshtonBrown University Library
Textual scholarship at Brown
• Brown University Women Writers Project
• Virtual Humanities Lab• Center of Digital Epigraphy• Modernist Journals Project• Hypertext, CAVE Writing, etc.
The Pico Project
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s 900 Theses (1486)
• AtomPub is an engine for creating, publishing, and updating annotations via HTTP.
• XML-based format for sending, receiving data on the web.
• Includes annotation body, metadata, links to target resource.
• RDF to express relationships between collections, digital objects, and annotations.
A place to gather, index, store, preserve, and make available digital assets produced via the scholarly, instructional, research, and administrative activities at Brown.
• Based on Fedora Commons• Rights management via Shibboleth• APIs and web services for campus
developers• User interface to upload, catalog, and
arrange personal materials stored in the BDR
My group’s annotations
About component “C”
A scholar annotates a digital object. The annotation is packaged in an AtomPub document and sent to the digital repository via HTTP.
Atom + XMLThe repository ingests the annotation as a new object, complete with its own metadata. RDF defines it as an annotation of another object.
Annotations are syndicated as Atom feeds, similar to those created from blogs. Scholars can subscribe to feeds based on their research interests and participation in collaborative groups.
Groups of annotations (e.g., translations, editorial comments) are aggregated into new standalone documents and published with attribution.
Annotations are published as a Linked Data source using RDF, complete with ontological classification and links to the digital objects that they address.
All permutations of annotations, digital objects, and their derivatives are addressable as stable entities via a HTTP URI. Additionally, they are all subject to annotation, thereby blurring the traditional distinction between “primary objects” and “annotations.”