Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Building crowdsourced photographic collections with lentil and Instagram

673ec3129e0ff5d26a23ce14267608a6?s=47 Jason Casden
September 24, 2013

Building crowdsourced photographic collections with lentil and Instagram

Presented 24 September 2013 at Access Conference 2013.

In January 2013, the NCSU Libraries opened the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University. Telling the story of the new library was crowdsourced through an Instagram-based project called My #HuntLibrary. Developed collaboratively by our Digital Library Initiatives, Communications, and Special Collections departments, My #HuntLibrary is both a user engagement tool and a digital preservation effort. Photographs tagged #HuntLibrary are included in a collection that is displayed in multiple interactive, responsive views, ranging from four inches to twenty feet. The entire collection of digital images will be preserved in our digital archives.

In May 2013, the My #HuntLibrary code was released as an open-source Rails Engine called “lentil” in order to simplify the creation of similar projects. lentil is a framework for applications that harvest image metadata from Instagram, provides moderation, browsing, voting, and sharing tools, and harvests image files and submits donor agreements in preparation of ingest into external repositories. A lentil-based application can be quickly customized and deployed to any Rails-capable web server (including Heroku) as a complete crowdsourced photographic documentation project.

lentil serves as a platform for investigating questions related to library approaches to user engagement, the preservation of social media, large-scale interface design, and including new participants in digital archival materials creation and selection processes. This presentation will present insights based on user interviews, application usage data, image contributions, social media feedback, voting (community curation) trends, and experience integrating these materials into existing digital collections systems.


Jason Casden

September 24, 2013

Other Decks in Education


  1. Building crowdsourced photographic collections with lentil and Instagram Jason Casden

    Access Conference 2013 24 September 2013
  2. James B. Hunt, Jr. Library Opened January 2013

  3. Hunt Library

  4. Hunt Library

  5. Hunt Library

  6. Hunt Library

  7. student engagement

  8. historical documentation

  9. My #HuntLibary/lentil go.ncsu.edu/myhunt

  10. Fostering lasting engagement

  11. How do users relate to us? (de)centralization (relation) consumption/creation (direction)

    physical/virtual (setting) individual/community (identity) present/future (horizon)
  12. (de)centralization (relation)

  13. hashtagging

  14. harvesting

  15. moderating

  16. social network

  17. authors

  18. #huntlibrary authors

  19. aggregating peers

  20. lentil users

  21. services, archives

  22. indirect participation

  23. the life of a lentil image 1. metadata of user-tagged

    Instagram image is harvested via API 2. image is approved by moderator 3. image battles, collects "likes" (subjective metadata) 4. (loop) calculate popularity score 5. (loop) check for removal from Instagram 6. image file is harvested and stored in staging area 7. donor agreement is automatically submitted as a comment 8. barring author objection, image metadata and file are packaged for external system
  24. consumption/creation (direction)

  25. None
  26. the libraries provide most of the infrastructure the users provide

    most of the content
  27. bidirectional relationships see: David Silver

  28. physical/virtual (setting)

  29. responsive


  31. None
  32. None
  33. None
  34. None
  35. None
  36. individual/community (identity)

  37. infinite tiles

  38. None
  39. None
  40. battle

  41. social

  42. None
  43. present/future (horizon)

  44. How would you feel about your photos being added to

    an archival collection?
  45. "I would be so excited. For me, I think it

    would be better than winning an iPad."
  46. None
  47. None
  48. Forbes, re: Smithsonian and NARA "So do people want to

    spend their free time adding to the historical record? Unequivocally yes, said both institutions in recent conversations with me." Raab, N. (2013, September 20). Crowdsourcing technology offers organizations new ways to engage public in history. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanraab/2013/09/20/technology-offers-organizations-new-ways- to-engage-the-public-in-history/
  49. social media archives collection vs. item value

  50. social media engagement as a collecting opportunity

  51. open collections as an engagement opportunity

  52. usage in 8.5 months 2800+ images 7560+ "likes" 70,000+ "battles"

    34,000+ visits 221,000+ pageviews 1000+ donor agreements 1 objection
  53. github.com/NCSU-Libraries/lentil

  54. credits Jason Casden Bret Davidson Brian Dietz Jennifer Garrett Cory

    Lown Mike Nutt Jason Ronallo ...and many others
  55. Thanks! @cazzerson | jmcasden@ncsu.edu | http://go.ncsu.edu/myhunt