LC Labs Letter: June 2020


A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Our Projects 

New experiments launch on!

Speech to Text Viewer

The Speech to Text Viewer is an experiment to test, document, and refine ways to increase accessibility to American Folklife Center collections using off-the-shelf transcription tools. This proof-of-concept tool shows the potential to browse, play audio, and read time-synced auto-generated transcripts of online collections from the American Folklife Center. The selected materials span a wide range of dialects and time periods to test the accuracy of off-the-shelf transcription tools on a variety of cultural heritage recordings.

Exploring Machine Learning with the Project Aida team: Code and Project Documentation 

LC Labs recently finished a collaboration with the Project AIDA research team led by Elizabeth Lorang and Leen-Kiat Soh at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This project consisted of six small-scale experiments applying machine learning to Library of Congress collections.

Along with their final report, titled “Digital Libraries, Intelligent Data Analytics, and Augmented Description: A Demonstration Project by the Project AIDA team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” the project findings, documentation and code are now available as an experiment on and on the Library of Congress Github repository.

Calling all readers of the Signal! 

The Signal is a collaborative blog between LC Labs and the Digital Content Management Section at the Library of Congress. Initially created in 2011 to share information about digital preservation efforts, the blog has traced the evolution of digital practices at the Library over the course of a decade.

Whether you’re a long-time reader or you’ve just recently subscribed for updates, we’re grateful for your readership! If you’d like to tell us what you think of the blog, and what you’d like to see more of, please respond to the following survey.


  • Interested in bulk downloading maps from the Library of Congress’s online collections? It just got easier! Find out how using the latest Jupyter Notebooks released by the Geography & Maps Division in this post on the Signal.
  • Forthcoming: “Machine Learning + Libraries: The State of the Field” by Associate Professor Ryan Cordell. LC Labs commissioned the report to document the state of the field regarding machine learning and libraries—stay tuned for its release very soon!
  • The Library has taken a closer look at how to make the Recommended Formats Statement even more useful to all stakeholders and user communities.

LC Labs Letter: April 2020

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team Editor’s Note As it did for many people across the country and all over the world, the month of March brought new ways of working and communicating and challenging, complex circumstances for the LC Labs team. We found […]

Newspaper Navigator Surfaces Treasure Trove of Historic Images – Get a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Data Jam!

Projects like Newspaper Navigator are busy unlocking even more digital content for members of the public to access from home. On May 7th at 2pm EST, Innovator in Residence Ben Lee will host a virtual data jam to experiment and play with thousands of images—including maps, advertisements, comics, and more!—from historical newspapers dating to the 1800s. In this post, Ben discusses his aspirations for engaging the American public with the millions of images he extracted from  Chronicling America.

Digital Scholarship Working Group Report: Published!

Digital scholarship takes advantage of the availability of digital collections and a changing landscape of tools, resources and methodologies to produce new forms of research and engagement. Digital scholarship projects and centers are common at research universities. They serve faculty and student needs by supporting digital skill development and sharing best practices in digital research […]

Machine Learning + Libraries Summit: Event Summary now live!

The Machine Learning + Libraries Summit Event Summary is now available as a downloadable report on This document includes more detailed information about the conference proceedings. It broadly summarizes recurring themes of discussion and compiles the outputs of the small group activities.

Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Quarterly Update

This is a guest post from LC Labs Senior Innovation Specialist Laurie Allen. This is the second post in a series where we are sharing experiences from the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud. The series began with an introductory post.  Learn about the grant on the experiments page, and see the […]

LC Labs Letter January 2020

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team The Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Project is HIRING! Come join the Mellon-funded Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Project as one of two digital scholarship specialists! The positions will be funded for three years and will […]

Digital Strategy Year in Review

This is a guest post by Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal from the Digital Strategy Directorate. Leah outlines below some of the major milestones reached by the Directorate in 2019. Looking Back and Looking Forward Exciting changes are afoot for digital transformation at the Library of Congress!  This post reviews some of the things we did last year […]