LC Labs Letter January 2020


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 assist four teams of researchers with accessing research collections through the cloud.

Apply here by January 31, 2020!

Connecting Collections as Data Conference & Call for Participation

SAVE THE DATE! May 4-6, 2020, LC Labs will host ‘Connecting Collections as Data: Transforming Communities, Sharing Knowledge, and Building Networks with International GLAM Labs.

LC Labs will host the International GLAM Labs network in North America for the first time to connect with the active Collections as Data and digital scholarship communities in the U.S. The meeting will be an opportunity  for participants to exchange strategies and methods for developing innovative services for diverse and varied audiences,  and to discuss the role of cultural heritage and research organizations in advancing digital transformation.

Brief proposals are sought from individuals and groups who are interested in contributing to the program. Submission will be accepted for: 1) 10 minute lighting talks (that may be grouped into themes), 2) panel proposals that address a single theme with 3 to 4 speakers and a facilitator, or 3) full or half day workshops, datathons, or other hands-on working session. Submit your proposal here by January 31, 2020.

LOC 3D: Library Collections Come to Life as 3D models!

Two physical objects from the Library of Congress collections are now available online as 3D models. See them for yourself here!

These models were created by staff from across the Library as part of a pilot to test the use of making 3D collections available to users. Staff were trained in photogrammetry, one of the technologies that makes web-viewable, digital models. In this blog post, Labs member Eileen talks more about learning these skills and being part of this diverse and cross-functional Library squad.

Please share this experiment widely and reach out to provide your feedback and/or user stories via email at [email protected].

2019 in Review

In this blog post on the Signal, Program Advisor Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal reflects on the Digital Strategy Directorate’s accomplishments in 2019. Highlights include introducing a new cohort of the Innovator in Residence program, winning a $1 million grant to test new modes of collection access, experimenting with the use of machine learning, and graduating By the People from an experiment to a program.


  • While in residence at the Kluge Center, Dr. Patrick Egan combined his background in technology and passion for Irish folk music in a digital humanities project that applied linked data approaches to the Irish traditional music materials at the American Folklife Center (AFC). Patrick shares about his process of undertaking this interdisciplinary work in this blog post.


  • The Library of Congress has named Jason Reynolds as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Learn more about him and his work in this Library of Congress resource guide.


Kate’s Corner
Notes from the Director of Digital Strategy

It’s New Year’s resolution time, a concept that I have never loved, since the resolutions seem to 1. not work, and 2. make people inspect only the things they don’t like about themselves.

This year, I’m instead focusing on habit and systems; you know, the slow and steadfast friends that gently lead you to brush your teeth and remind you of loved-ones’ birthdays, even after their buddies willpower and grit have over-trained at the gym and fallen asleep on the couch. My goals this year are to live healthier and connect more with colleagues and loved ones. I’ve enjoyed spending much of January thinking about ways to smooth my path. For example, to cook all of my veggies during the weekend for easy weekday meal making and scheduling coffee with folks in advance.

In the same way that I love caring for and helping other people, I can find pleasure in current Kate taking care of future Kate. I wish you the best luck in living your most happy and fulfilling life this year.

-Kate Zwaard


Connections in Sound and at the Library of Congress: Reaching out to experts to connect Irish traditional music through Linked Data

Patrick Egan is a scholar and musician from Ireland, who served as a Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies at the Kluge Center. He has recently earned his PhD in digital humanities with ethnomusicology in at University College Cork. Patrick’s interests over the past number of years have focused on ways to creatively use descriptive data in […]

Library’s Collections Come to Life as 3D Models

The 3D Digital Modeling, Imaging, and Printing Working Group was created to explore the use of 3D technologies to expand access to the Library’s collections. In Fall 2019, the working group launched a pilot in which a limited selection of items from the online collections were 3D scanned and the 3D models made publicly available. In […]

Connections in Sound: Irish traditional music at AFC

An introduction to the project “Connections In Sound” by Patrick Egan. This post outlines progress that has been made in the project to date, data sets and descriptions of how to read these data sets. Two visualizations are provided for users to browse ongoing developments in Patrick’s work, and a number of links are provided for users to utilize the data from the research.

Creative Technologist and 2018 Papamarkou Chair Tahir Hemphill Looks Back on his Year in the Archives

This is a guest post from Tahir Hemphill, the 2018 Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. The Labs team first met Tahir – a creative technologist, educator and radical archivist – when we invited him to speak at our Collections as Data: Impact conference about his […]

Piloting Digital Scholarship with the John W. Kluge Center and LC Labs

This is a guest post from 2018 Library of Congress Labs team Junior Fellow Eileen Jakeway that discusses her work on a collaborative Digital Scholarship pilot with the John W. Kluge Center.   In her address at the 2018 Junior Fellows Program closing ceremony this August, Manuscript Division Junior Fellow Patrice Green said that she learned a […]

Welcoming Charlie Moffett and crafting interactive, location-based narratives on the web at the Library of Congress

In January, the LC Labs team welcomed Charlie Moffett as he kicked off his innovation internship with the Library of Congress. He’s been exploring digital collections and geospatial data and where the two might intersect to tell stories about place and change. We checked in with him to learn more about his goals, background, and […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: People, Blogs and Labs (part 7 of 7)

This is the final post in a seven-part series by Samantha Herron, our 2017 Junior Fellow. She created this guide to help LC Labs explore how to support digital scholarship at the Library and we started publishing them in January. She’s covered why digital materials matter, how to create digital documents, what digital documents make possible, text […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: Tools for Spatial Analysis (part 5 of 7)

This is part five in a seven part resource guide for digital scholarship by Samantha Herron, our 2017 Junior Fellow. Part one is available here, part two about making digital documents is here, part three is about tools to work with data, part four is all about doing text analysis, and today’s post is focused on spatial analysis. The full […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: Text analysis (part 4 of 7)

This is part four in a seven part resource guide for digital scholarship by Samantha Herron, our 2017 Junior Fellow. Part one is available here, part two about making digital documents is here, part three is about tools to work with data, and part four (below) is all about doing text analysis. The full guide is available […]