We are pleased to announce many updates to Footprints website and to the project at large. The database has been growing in leaps and bounds (about 700 Footprints at last count), with promising directions for further expansion. Our talented developers at Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning have completed a function for “batch upload” of provenance data to the site–the large scale uploading of material based on extant library catalogs. We invite you check out the recent developments in the site by visiting the following link: https://footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/.
We have shared the first fruits of this endeavor at international scholarly conferences, where the project was well-received. We presented the project at last summer’s Association of Jewish Libraries meeting, the December meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies, and the January meeting of the American Historical Association, and we will be participating in this summer’s Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Bruges. At these conferences, our work featured alongside other projects in the Digital Humanities, where we learned from their respective successes (and setbacks).
Footprints has garnered interest in the scholarly community, and generated opportunities for institutional collaboration. We have recently uploaded records from Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and are working with the librarians at other institutions to replicate this process. We are preparing hundreds more Footprints to add to the site for the batch upload, and we are constantly seeking more! We are cultivating connections with other librarians around the world who have provenance data in their catalog records, with an eye towards our goal of reaching the critical mass of 10,000 footprints by summer 2017. If you are interested in submitting your data as a batch, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about batch specifications.
Footprints will achieve its goal of advancing the state of the field in Jewish Book History when it impacts the nature of research. We are working on an event surrounding the 500th anniversary of first publication of Daniel Bomberg (Rabbinic Bible, 1517), to coincide with the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem next summer.
We look forward to sharing new developments with you as they continue to occur!