Cultural Heritage

Sorting digitised content

Sorting Room is a lightbox-style tool for organising large amounts of digitised content into new items and arrangements.

The scenario - a large amount of archival material, yet to be described in detail. You can preserve its arrangement in initial digitisation, then use tools to select and sort the material into logical items, experiment with the arrangement, and make it available for viewing and annotation.

Sorting Room is a tool for use in a Digitise First workflow. It's the physical equivalent of viewing the material spread out on a table, and making selections from it to group images together into items.

Sorting Room was developed for the Indigenous Digital Archive but can be applied to any IIIF material. In that project, the source material was microfilm rolls, each with 1000 or more page images. The rolls had been digitised, and we produced initial IIIF representations for each roll, preserving the microfilm roll order.

Selecting an item in sorting room

Users of sorting room can visually identify individual documents, letters and reports within the larger image set, select the images, and name the new item. A new IIIF Manifest is created, that refers back to the source roll but leaves it untouched. These derived items are the basis of the Indigenous Digital Archive.

Once identified, an item is taken through the enrichment pipeline for OCR and tagging via Named Entity Extraction. Items that make sense for users in a viewing or crowdsourcing context are created, without disrupting the original arrangement.

Summary of items created from one source

If you would like to use Sorting Room in your project, we're keen to hear use cases and integration scenarios.