Purpose of the collaboration was to create new publication formats that enhance critical understanding of historical sources and to develop new archiving methods and business models to support the reuse of these formats. Historian of science Tiemen Cocquyt (HI/Museum Boerhaave) and Dylan Nagel experimented one day per week for a period of nine months with the development, preservation and reuse of animations of static illustrations of scientific laws, processes and the working of mechanical instruments and tools. These animations were developed to enhance the understanding of complex, often abstract descriptions in seventeenth century publications of the sciences.
In total six animations were produced that can be activated by clicking on QR codes next to illustrations in books on/facsimiles of seventeenth century works on astronomy, physics, biology, fortification, land surveying and mechanical engineering. The aim was not just to produce creative illustrations, but interactive scholarly multimedia animations that would contribute to a critical interpretation of the seventeenth texts and comments hereof. The experiment did not limit itself to creation of animated visualizations. Maarten Hoogerwerf (co-applicant) and Heleen van de Schraaf DANS created strategies and designed workflows for the re-use of the enriched publications to be represented on the website of Brill Publishers.
Michiel Thijssen (Brill) joined the project committee, to bring in the publisher’s perspective for the development of business models that together with the new archiving methods must support the sustainability and re-use of the enhanced publications. Other members of the project committee that met monthly were Leen Breure (DANS/UU) an expert of enriched publications, who provided much feedback on methodological and editorial issues, Huib Zuidervaart (HI) who critically assessed the cases with physics content and Charles van den Heuvel who provided information for the fortification and land-surveying cases.
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