An innovative, Web-based tool called Inventoriana is enabling scholars to collaborate on indexing and annotating digital library materials, such as liturgical manuscripts, with exciting results. Harvard medievalists have embraced the software, and it was recently used in a seminar on Ambrosian chant taught by Professor Tom Kelly.
Created by Drew Massey, a Harvard graduate student in musicology, Inventoriana allows researchers to:
- View “public” manuscripts in the Inventoriana database.
- Create private “buckets” of digitized materials for personal or group collaboration.
- Add tags to precise locations on the manuscript image.
- View a “revision history” for a particular item.
- Search and export to an Excel Spreadsheet.
- and more…
Inventoriana is a wonderful complement to the digitization initiatives currently underway in academic research libraries, museums, and archives. It adds a new dimension to online research and pedagogy by promoting transdiciplinary collaboration and transcending institutional boundaries, creating new pathways to philological and iconographical analysis and discovery. The extensibility of the software makes it appealing not only for medievalists studying manuscripts, but also art historians, cultural studies researchers, and virtually any scholar working with electronic texts and images.
Inventoriana is currently implemented in PHP, with data stored in a MySQL database. Direct specific questions about Inventoriana to Drew Massey.