Garibaldi and the 21st century library

Have you heard of the Garibaldi Panorama? Nope, me either.

But this video makes me want to look at it, explore it, dive into that watercolour seascape. The museum curators explain how a three-hundred year old artefact, once almost inaccessible due to its scale and size, has been transformed by digitisation and a Microsoft Surface into a living, interactive resource for anyone to enjoy and study. And, in doing so, they also show that, once again, it is those people who must categorise and preserve society’s valuable knowledge that are often found to be taking the lead in digital curation.

For students, being able to get ‘hands-on’ with source material, explore aspects that interest them, link through to new ideas, meander down historical pathways of their own choosing must surely spark interst and pique curiosity. And what a challenge to consider: how to preserve the information that is important to us today? How to, for example, start rescuing the emails of renowned writers from a digital Dark Age…. A great question to get students thinking about their writing….

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