Overview | People | Support

Overview: The goal of the AudiAnnotate Audiovisual Extensible Workflow (AWE) project is to accelerate access to, promote scholarship and teaching with, and extend understanding of significant digital AV collections in the humanities.

In response to the need for a workflow that supports IIIF manifest creation, collaborative editing, flexible modes of presentation, and permissions control, the AudiAnnotate project is developing AWE, a documented workflow using the recently adopted IIIF standard for AV materials that will help libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs), scholars, and the public access and use AV cultural heritage items. We will achieve this goal by connecting existing best-of-breed, open source tools for AV management (Aviary), annotation (such as Audacity and OHMS), public code and document repositories (GitHub), and the AudiAnnotate web application for creating and sharing IIIF manifests and annotations. Usually limited by proprietary software and LAM systems with restricted access to AV, users will use AWE as a complete sequence of tools and transformations for accessing, identifying, annotating, and sharing AWE “projects” such as singular pages or multi-page exhibits or editions with AV materials. LAMs will benefit from AWE as it facilitates metadata generation, is built on W3C web standards in IIIF for sharing online scholarship, and generates static web pages that are lightweight and easy to preserve and harvest. AWE represents a new kind of AV ecosystem where the exchange is opened between institutional repositories, annotation software, online repositories and publication platforms, and all kinds of users.

AWE partnerships with institutions such as the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, Library of Congress Labs, the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University, the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies  at Yale Library, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky, the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University, and the SpokenWeb Consortium will provide use cases to test the workflow and demonstrate its benefits to users and LAMs, thus encouraging broad use. Use cases developed through these partnerships will demonstrate the different ways that LAMs use (or don’t use) DAMs;  the wide variety of humanities materials in AV formats from poetry performances to oral histories that cultural heritage institutions hold; and the range of restrictions that users encounter, from freely available AV streamed online to materials accessible to a consortium of institutions, to artifacts that are locked down in private collections. These use cases collectively demonstrate (1) researchers annotating materials held at multiple holding institutions and presenting these annotations as a single, free-to-access project, (2) researchers with privileges annotating restricted materials but sharing annotations publicly, (3) multiple researchers working together at different holding institutions to produce annotations authored by many, and (4) a holding institution harvesting these annotations to increase the information they can provide about their AV cultural heritage artifacts. Better understanding and documenting these use cases is key to broadening the use of both IIIF and AV materials. These and other use cases will be described and shared in detail at each AWE project partner workshop, in presentations at the annual IIIF consortium and the annual DH or ACH conference, and in online documentation for scholars and the general public.

Specifically, the AWE project will produce and share the following open source deliverables:

  • Advancements to the AudiAnnotate web application that will build on and transform the application into a collaborative AV commentary publication tool that will help users produce freely-available web pages and exhibits with an embedded media player (see AWE player below), hosted on GitHub Pages.
  • Plug-ins for the Aviary platform for searching AV content to expose IIIF manifests and annotations at various levels of authentication. It will also provide an interface for ingesting external manifests and user-generated annotations.
  • An AWE player as a reusable, standalone piece of code that runs a media player in a browser. It will present linked annotations and media at various levels of authentication, accommodating both freely available AV and AV with restricted use/copyright.
  • Documentation for all incorporated tools as well as use cases (described below) that will illustrate the workflow.
  • A workshop on AWE with training in creating IIIF AV annotations and AV exhibits.
  • Scholarship on current user trends and ethical data practices with AV materials in collecting institutions including a report on the interviews and surveys AWE will conduct with users, conference presentations, and scholarly articles in Digital Humanities journals.

Because AWE facilitates a IIIF ecosystem that can function in accordance with but outside of under-resourced LAMs, it can extend the capabilities of users and institutions beyond current workflows. Collectively, these deliverables will allow institutions, scholars, students, and the public to access, annotate, and share AV commentary and exhibits in a free and standardized way for the first time. 

People: Clement, Brumfield Labs, Aviary — the AWE team — are uniquely positioned to collaborate and extend their existing areas of expertise and current projects in developing a sustainable solution for annotating AV and generating the IIIF AV objects that will facilitate access to, use of, and the long-term preservation of AV. They have an extensive and proven record of collaboration and success. Brumfield Labs and the AVP Aviary team have deep expertise in IIIF and AV preservation and access, respectively, with much experience collaborating with cultural heritage institutions that typically do not have the resources to hire experts with their technical background.

AWE Team:

  • Tanya Clement, Associate Professor, UT Austin
  • Ben Brumfield, Brumfield Labs
  • Sara Brumfield, Brumfield Labs
  • Shawn Averkamp, AVP
  • Bert Lyons, AVP
  • Amy Rudersdorf, AVP
  • Bethany Radcliffe, MSIS/MA candidate UT Austin
  • Kylie Warkentin, undergraduate, UT Austin
  • Zoe Bursztajn-Illing, PhD candidate, UT Austin
  • Janet Reinschmidt, MA candidate, UT Austin

Project Partners:

  • Doug Boyd, Director. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History Special Collections 
  • Jason Camlot, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs at Concordia University, Montreal; PI, SpokenWeb Project 
  • Christina Davis, Curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, Houghton Library, Harvard University
  • Meghan Ferriter, Senior Innovation Specialist, Library of Congress Digital Innovation Lab (LC Labs) 
  • Bethany Nowviskie, Dean of Libraries, James Madison University 
  • Jim Kuhn, Associate Director, Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin 
  • Stephen Naron, Director of the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale Libraries

Advisory Board

  • Aaron Choate, Director of Digital Strategies, University of Texas at Austin Libraries 
  • Jason Camlot, Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs at Concordia University, Montreal; PI, SpokenWeb Project 
  • Jon Dunn, Assistant Dean for Library Technologies at Indiana University, Co-Chair, IIIF A/V Technical Specification Group; Director of Avalon Media System 
  • Jennifer Guiliano, University of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and Director, Humanities Intensive Learning and Training – HILT 
  • Virginia Millington, Archivist, StoryCorps

Support: AWE has been generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation