Source: Scalar Book of Coptic Stitch Binding

Our first digital project is due this week.  JJ asked us to create a collection of media objects in either Omeka or Scalar, using the built-in tools to play with footnotes, annotations, linking and adding metadata.

I chose Scalar, since it seemed more receptive to video.  It took a while to adjust to the program, but by the end of things, I earned a general grasp of the tools (except for how to remove or edit embedded media—that still escapes me).

My theme was the history and contemporary use of Coptic binding.  To see how the project turned out, check it out!

The potential for non-linearly structured books in Omeka or Scalar fascinates me.  I expected to maintain my excitement for the fluidity of movement throughout the content, and I did, in large part.  However, in formulating the paths between pages and media, my brain’s habit of linear construction continually pushed against letting my thought process to move in a natural form.  The exercise was entertaining, and interrogating the codex form (while doing a write-up of THE codex form) made it doubly so.  A nagging concern remains, though, that readers might miss content—it would be a shame to miss out on that one page, that one piece of media that might engage a user not quite ready to be as excited about Coptic stitch bindings as me.  Though, that might be an argument for making each page appropriately rich with multimedia content, enough to engage readers without overwhelming them.

I experimented with the idea of various levels of reader engagement by including both image and video on only one page, including mostly technical images on anther, and including essentially just text with occasional annotations on the first.  The idea would be—once discovering which level of multimedia depth to incorporate for majority reader enjoyment—all the pages could then be somewhat consistently addressed in that way, allowing the book to feel more consistent and tailored throughout.