Home > Uncategorized > What’s the Score at the Bodleian? goes live

What’s the Score at the Bodleian? goes live

The Snails GalopAfter several months of development work and testing by a limited number of users, What’s the score at the Bodleian? is finally being released to the general public today. The Bodleian Libraries are enlisting the help of the public in this experimental project to help improve access to parts of their music collections. A selection of unbound and uncatalogued piano sheet music from the mid-Victorian period has been digitised and people are asked to submit descriptions of the scores by transcribing the information they see. This will help to make them more readily discoverable online.

The Bodleian has teamed up with Zooniverse, world leaders in crowd-sourcing technology and the people behind various high-profile ‘Citizen Science’ projects, such as Galaxy Zoo and The Milky Way Project. They have recently branched out from purely astronomical subjects into other areas, with projects like Old Weather and Ancient Lives, and have adapted their software in order to present our music scores for the gathering of crowd-sourced data (http://www.whats-the-score.org/). In conjunction with this, the Bodleian has developed a website which will contain the digitised scores and descriptive information about them (http://scores.bodleian.ox.ac.uk). Data collected from crowd-sourcing will eventually feed into this database, to add to the basic metadata already there, making the collection searchable and available for the first time.

The Jubilee WaltzesThe music selected for this project has never been catalogued by the Library so has not been readily available to users. Although music of this kind was considered to have little academic value at the time of receipt, it can now offer an insight into the nature of amateur music-making during the Victorian period and reveal something of the social history of the time. Many of the scores have attractively illustrated covers which are a subject of study in their own right.

This project may lead in future to the Libraries exploring further ways in which members of the public, who may be experts in particular fields, can be encouraged to enrich the existing catalogues and other finding aids by contributing additional information about the collections.

So, please sign up and become a contributor (http://www.whats-the-score.org/).

For more information about the project, see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/library/specialcollections/projects/whats-the-score/.

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