Livingstone Online has embarked on a new three-year phase of development thanks to a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA). This three-year project is called the Livingstone Online Enrichment and Access Project (LEAP ). Since LEAP began last September, we’ve been engaged in a whirlwind of activities. Here are the first five (in no particular order) of our current “Top Ten” activities:
- Program planning. We’re working with a lot of libraries, universities, and people (such as scholars, scientists, librarians, and computer programmers) to redevelop Livingstone Online. We have an ambitious agenda with many moving parts. We’ve made program planning a central part of our project to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that we accomplish all our goals.
- Website redesign. The current Livingstone Online took shape between 2005 and 2010. Although only a few years have passed, today’s users have different expectations for how a website should work. We’re redesigning the “look and feel” of Livingstone Online to enhance the experience of our users and to facilitate future site updates.
- Data development. Between 2005 and 2013, Livingstone Online collected a lot of images from libraries and archives in the UK and elsewhere in the world. We produced transcriptions of many manuscripts, wrote critical essays, and gathered numerous images of historical artifacts. Now we’re organizing all this data in order to ensure that it uniformly meets international library standards and can be preserved and sustained long into the future.
- Website migration. Libraries preserve books. Digital libraries like the UCLA Digital Library — the future home of Livingstone Online — preserve digital projects. We’re in the process of migrating Livingstone Online to Islandora, the platform that UCLA uses for all its digital holdings.
- Digitization. Livingstone Online launched in 2005, but it’s not all about the past for us! We continue to grow and expand. Through LEAP, we’re taking in 3,500 new Livingstone manuscript images from the National Library of Scotland and the David Livingstone Centre. We’re also bringing in new images from the Royal Geographical Society, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Library, the Brenthurst Library, and a number of other South African archives.
Our next blog post will cover the remaining five activities in LEAP’s Top Ten….