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Experiments at the MIT Libraries

Welcome to the Experiments program at the MIT Libraries. Experiments encourage risk-taking, rapid prototyping, and experimentation to support the innovative use of our data, collections, and services. We invite the MIT community to work along with us, submit their own hack, or suggest an experiment.

Below is the list of experiments that are currently in progress. It’s important to note that these are not intended to be fully supported tools or services, but instead opportunities to test, hack, provide feedback, iterate, and improve upon a concept.

As you explore the experiments, let us know how useful or interesting each is, and whether it should become a part of the supported tools and services the Libraries provide. Try them out and tell us what you think.

(Wondering what happened to a past experiment? Check out our graduates and graveyard.


Current Experiments

Class of 1982 Sequentiaryin Mirador using IIIF

preview of IIIF Sequentiary experiment
This experiment brings a rare archival object into the digital realm using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) and the Mirador viewer which allows viewers to access, zoom, pan, and study this delicate artifact from the 15th or early 16th century. The MIT Libraries is experimenting with providing greater access to rare materials in our collections to broaden scholarly inquiry beyond the library walls.

Why this experiment?

An opportunity to collaborate with Prof. Myke Cuthbert and the Lewis Music Library around the Medieval and Renaissance Music (21M.220) class came out of the acquisition of this unique but fragile object and the earlier TryIIIF experiment in 2016.

Experiment runtime: Spring 2017

Text Data Mining (TDM)/Fedora – MIT Theses

Fedora is an open source repository system especially suited for digital libraries and archives, both for access and preservation. It can provide specialized access to very large and complex digital collections of historic and cultural materials as well as scientific data. The MIT Libraries are experimenting with this platform to gain knowledge around text data mining (using the digitized MIT thesis collection in MIT’s DSpace) and Fedora4.

Why this experiment?

Text and data mining are important areas to understand in order to offer supporting services to our research community.  Currently, this is not a standard feature within institutional repositories, which leaves publishers as the primary entities offering these services.

Want to know more? Email the project manager, Caitlin Robles.

Experiment runtime: Fall 2016 – Fall 2017