Unconference Critique Digitale

Panel 4, Session 2 Zurich

Do., 22.10.21, 10.00 - 10.45

Title: From papyri to photographs. Doing research with images.

“How do you search for images?”

From the chat: “Ideally, I would search them in old books, or at antiquarian’s, even at flea markets (postcards, stamps)… but indeed, due to lack of time and energy, I google: the very job of “iconographist” is gone.”

Uses of images:


“Describe images in detail”

“I use images mostly to give a text an added hint: not a duplication of the written idea but a metaphor to open the meaning (but I realise I got your question wrong).”

“I include images in storytelling”

How do you work with images?

Isabelle Marthot: Uses IIIF in papyri research

“I see IIIF as the future, we should have as many collections as possible available in IIIF”

Project D-Scribes, based in Basel

Annotation of areas with different handwritings

Different categories (tags) can be associated with a region of the image

Prove the attribution to certain scribes with computer algorithms

Display excerpts per writer

A IIIF server and database is included in the research infrastructure

Cooperation with Master students in computer science is recommended

Tool for increasing the legibility of papyri: https://hierax.ch/

Online publications: potential of IIIF: images with metadata and annotations. Re-usablility, especially in scientific publications.

To be developed: methodology how we annotate images

IIIF opens up the possibility of sharing research results. Give access to make your research more understandable.

“just on that point of sharing: this is really transformative for how we do research, potentially moving away from the single-researcher towards working in more collaborative ways”

a more generous way of doing research

avoid reproducing research that other people already have done already

a shift of mindset: opening the research, make it more agile (stay flexible with goals, cooperations)

Art historian perspective: “blown away” by the possibilites of IIIF. Presentation tool - possibilities from museums.

Are these tools (Storiiies etc.) all open source and free? Yes.

Is there a “world catalogue” of IIIF resources?

There are meta-portals like https://biblissima.fr/, but so far there is no portal where you can search all the IIIF resources. But there is a a graph of worldwide IIIF resources: https://graph.global/universes/iiif.

Some IIIF tools:




Inputs from the chat:

“My two favorite IIIF catalogues of ancient manuscripts



IIIF tutorials from ZB-Lab (Zentralbibliothek Zürich): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxDekeBVQtVJeRqoTgsif7fJki2X96O-1