Digital Bodleian and the Polonsky Project

Digital.Bodleian landing page


In July, the Bodleian Libraries launched a new online collections delivery platform, Digital.Bodleian, designed to unify the Bodleian's many existing digital collections within a single searchable interface. Digital.Bodleian is still a work in progress, but it already incorporates many of our previously digitized special collections, including items from the John Johnson Collection, Early Manuscripts at Oxford University, Luna, and a number of the University of Oxford's smaller digital library projects.


Up to this point, items digitized by the Bodleian for the Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project have been published online via viewer.bodleian, a simple viewing interface which does not allow users to search or browse across digitized items (see, for example, Arch. B b.10). Since the launch of Digital.Bodleian, newly digitized Polonsky Project items will instead be published on Digital.Bodleian. We will continue to link to them directly from this site's Digitized Items pages, so users of this site will be able to find them as easily as before, but the new items will also be discoverable via Digital.Bodleian's searching anad browsing tools.


A few dozen Polonsky Hebrew manuscripts have already been added to Digital.Bodleian, as well as a few Polonsky incunabula (including both volumes of the Bodleian's Gutenberg Bible, Arch. B b.10-11), and in the coming months, all of the Bodleian's previously digitized Polonsky Project material will also be added to Digital.Bodleian. As this work progresses, here are some features of Digital.Bodleian to look forward to:



Improved bibliographic metadata. Where possible, we will be including title, creator (including author, printer and/or translator) and date information for the Polonsky items in Digital.Bodleian. We are also working on adding structural metadata functionality to the site, making it easier to navigate through composite manuscripts and sammelbande.


Searchability. The items in Digital.Bodleian are searchable by shelfmark as well as by all the metadata fields listed above.


IIIF compatibility. Everything in Digital.Bodleian adheres to the standards of the International Image Interoperability Framework, which opens the doors for collaboration across participating libraries. (The Huntington Library and Stanford University have recently published some excellent resources on how, and why, to use IIIF in your research, which you can read here and here.) IIIF compatibility also gives you viewing options; if you don't like Digital.Bodleian's built-in viewer, you can click on the UV logo in the metadata panel to open it in Digirati's Universal Viewer, or you can use the item's UUID to open it in Mirador.


Interactive tools. Digital.Bodleian allows you to tag images, comment on them publicly or make private notes, create your own Digital.Bodleian collections, and export images and metadata by email or direct download.



To get started with Digital.Bodleian, take a look at our collection of tips and instructions, or jump straight in with a few of our newly digitized Hebrew manuscripts, which we will be blogging about shortly. If you have any questions about the interface or if you encounter any bugs, please email or tweet us @BDLSS.