Curious Images conference, BL Labs, 18 December 2014

Image taken from page 166 of 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' from Flickr Commons

Image taken from page 166 of ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ from Flickr Commons. No known copyright restrictions.

On Thursday 12th of December 2013, British Library Labs and The Digital Research Team in the Digital Scholarship department at the British Library put 1 million images on to Flickr Commons. To mark this anniversary British Library Labs are organising the Curious Images conference.

BL staff will explain how some of these images began to be released through Mechanical Curator on the 7th October, 2013. There will be a report on the amazing stories that have emerged from skateboardscolouring books, soundscapes, videos, art therapy, georeferencing maps and sounds inspired by the collection, just to mention a few.

There will be a presentation from the ‘Visibility’ project which is examining the impact and reach the image release has had. The presentation will include some initial findings of data collected on how the images are being used around the web and by who.

Two artists who have taken very different approaches in using the Flickr images for their art will also speak. Mario Klingemann has used machine learning techniques to find and tag images and has created innovative works of art and findings using the collection. Meanwhile, David Normal, an artist from California will talk about four collages he made representing ‘a collection of dynamic human dramas’. These were exhibited as illuminated light boxes at the Burning Man Festival this year.

Researchers will then talk about using a mixture of computational techniques to analyse digitised handwritten manuscripts (some from the British Library’s collections) and either connect them to their corresponding transcriptions or try and ‘read’ handwriting and create transcripts using machine learning / computational approaches.

There will be an analysis of imaging system procedures, data analysis and visualisations that support conservators and humanities researchers in cultural heritage. The presentation will focus on two projects, one on fresco reconstruction at the Akrotiri Excavation in Santorini, Greece, and the second on the reconstruction of fire-damaged parchment with London Metropolitan Archives. This will be followed by  projects using image processing and pattern recognition techniques in the Health and Natural Sciences.

A discussion will be facilitated on how disciplinary domains, using similar and different techniques with images, may learn from each other, followed by announcements on the next phase of the BL Labs project and a networking reception.

Further details are available on the event registration page.