The principal aim of the project is to investigate a cost-effective approach to increasing access to music scores from the Bodleian's collections, to be achieved by a combination of rapid digitization and the creation of descriptive metadata through crowd-sourcing. A recent pilot study concluded that traditional retrospective cataloguing of the music collections would require extensive funding and would take many years to achieve, and it is intended that the methodology and outcomes of this project should be used to inform a more economical approach to creating access to other material in the Bodleian.
The approach will be two-fold: firstly to undertake all procedures associated with the online delivery of digital surrogates for a proposed selection of material (to include basic descriptive metadata, conservation, tracking, delivery platform and preservation); and secondly to create an environment which allows for, and encourages, the enhancement of the basic metadata through crowd-sourcing and additional features such as Music OCR and online performances.
A sequence of unbound and uncatalogued music scores will form the main body of material selected for the initial phase of the project, comprising 64 boxes of piano music, mostly sheet music from the period 1860-1880 which includes dance music and other pieces designed for home entertainment, many with illustrated covers. The value of this material is explored in the Research Context page.
So as to provide some evidence of the different approaches required for different material that future phases of the project might encounter, a small number of bound volumes representing different types of musical score are also being included.
It is anticipated that the digitised scores and the facility for crowd-sourcing will be made available early in 2012; in the meantime, you can follow progress on the Project Blog.
The project is being funded by Google and overseen by a number of Project Participants.
Top left image: Front cover of "The Cleopatra Galop" by Charles d'Albert.
Bottom right image: First page of musical score for "The Cleopatra Galop" by Charles d'Albert.