Our first project meeting wasn’t all post-it notes and project planning; Team SCARLET (as we like to be known) got to see some original manuscripts and early printed editions that this project aims to merge (using Augmented Reality) with the abundance of digital assets that the University of Manchester are so fortunate to have access to. is so fortunate to have access to. We got to see three different Dante books, Guyda and John were brilliant guides to these and I wish I’d captured this on video to add to the digital assets. What struck me were the enhancements and additions made to these books over the years, and how our project was continuing that work. The Landi manuscript from the 15th century, which was hand-written, left plenty of space on the page for the scribe or others to make notes, just as we will be, adding information to the existing work in the digital age. A later version of the same text was printed in Florence in 1481, and copper-plate illustrations were added. Guyda pointed out that in this edition only the first two images were printed directly onto the page, while the rest were stuck in, because it must was too difficult a process to print them with the text. This edition is one of the three editions digitized in Guyda’s Manchester Digital Dante project.
The SCARLET project is continuing these enhancements, adding links to existing digital images and manuscripts or related commentaries and articles that others have produced. Team Scarlet is so excited about the potential Augmented Reality offers. In the 15th century images were being added to text, in the 21st we are adding digital assests via Augmented Reality, what will be done in 27th century?
As the current Project Manager for SCARLET it’s my job to ensure that within the short timescale we have we can demonstrate to the educational and library community the potential of using Augmented Reality. I loved a quote we received from our Dean of Faculty “with limited technical knowledge even I can see the potential benefit of this project”. I got the team working hard today to ensure that we have a useful project plan. We realised that even this meeting was the start of the toolkit that we aim to produce to help others implement this technology, hence this blog post. I love starting projects, my experiences at Mimas have taught me a great deal about successful project management and a key for me is ensuring that all the team have a shared understanding and enthusiasm for project from the start. The enthusiasm is easy with this project but the understanding takes some hard work, good discussions, numerous post-it notes and was aided by a fantastic room (at JRUL) to work in. If you’ve never been to JRUL on Deansgate I strongly recommend a visit (this is coming from someone who didn’t go into a Library for the first year of her degree!)