Author Archives: digischol

BlackBC (in progress)

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of BC’s African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS), the BlackBC allows online and mobile users to discover and explore black BC’s complex history on campus, in Boston, and in the nation. It mines anecdotal and informal resources as well as BC archives to commemorate the presence and contributions of black BC, and to document how this community participates in Boston’s black communities. The site will continue to be expanded in future semesters in collaboration with students and faculty in the AADS program.

Collaborator(s): Dr. Rhonda Frederick, Department of English and African & African Diaspora Studies

Digital Scholarly Edition of The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth (in progress)

In putting together an annotated digital scholarly edition of The Court & Kitchin of Elizabeth [1664], a text held by the Burns Library, we aim to accumulate skills for producing digital projects that we can pass on independently to future students and classes.  As an openly accessible resource not available in digitized form elsewhere, our edition of this text will complement other scholarly endeavors in the area of early modern recipes and food studies intended for researchers and students alike by showing the political, social, and uniquely satirical dimensions of one such cookbook. A link to the project will be provided upon its completion.

Collaborator(s): Andy Crow (Boston College), Deanna Malvesti Danforth (Boston College), Emma Atwood (University of Montevallo), Mary Crane (Boston College), Laura Sterrett (Boston College), Margaret Summerfield (Boston College)

Diego de Bruceña’s Lost Choir Book (in progress)

The Lost Choir Book Project uses innovative 3D modeling technology and TEI/XML encoding to document the only surviving copy of an atlas-sized book of sacred music published in 1620 in Salamanca, Spain, by printer Susana Muñoz. The project will make a serious contribution to the history of music printing in early modern Iberia through the creation of a digital edition of the newly-discovered Bruceña volume with accompanying essays, as well as incorporate digital facsimiles of archival documents and accompanying transcriptions attesting to this remarkable pioneer of the printing of sacred music. A link to the project will be provided upon its completion.

Collaborator(s): Dr. Michael Noone, Department of Music; Museu da Terra de Miranda, Portugal

FWWCP Digital Collection (in progress)

The FWWCP Digital Collection is a representation of over 30 years of working-class writing and publishing created by groups within The Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers (FWWCP).  The FWWCP groups included writing about class that intersected with discussions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, mental health, food and culture, education and much more. The collections are an expanding work-in-progresss, organized by regions in England and expanding to include other countries, administrative documents, FEDeration Magazines, and more. A link to the project will be provided when it is ready for public presentation.

Collaborator(s): Dr. Jessica Pauszek, Department of English

Mirror of Race (in progress)

Mirror of Race focuses on images from 1839-1876, spanning approximately forty years before, during and, after the Civil War, which demonstrates how race was a much more fluid and ambiguous concept than we may now assume. Through a combination of a freely explorable general collection and specific thematic exhibitions, Mirror of Race encourages viewers to reexamine how they see others and themselves by reflecting upon the categories of race that we employ almost automatically in our daily lives.

Jesuit Online Necrology

The Jesuit Online Necrology is an open, collaborative, and fully searchable database of personal information for the more than 32,000 men who died as members of the Society of Jesus between 1814 and 1970, built in collaboration with the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu in Rome, the Institute of Advanced Jesuit Studies and the Woodstock Theological Library at Georgetown. This database provides the dates of birth, entry, and death for all the men who lived and died as Jesuits in the century and a half following the order’s restoration and includes interactive maps and data visualizations answering questions focused on the lives of these men.

The Jesuit Online Necrology project is currently in beta. The editors of the Jesuit Online Necrology welcome comments, corrections to records, suggestions for new content or features, and general feedback from users at

3D Models in the Classroom: Every Rock has a Story

In collaboration with CDIL, the DS team digitized a series of rock specimens utilized in Prof. Ethan Baxter’s Fall 2021 Earth and Environmental Sciences class, Every Rock has a Story, to be used in interactive videos and, eventually AR experiences. A total of approximately 35 rocks were digitized (see examples), a subsample of the more than 60 3D models that were created this year through a combination of photogrammetry and laser scanning (see our collection). (See the Digital Studio’s 3D technologies page.)

Apple’s Reality Composer, a Free AR App

In collaboration with the Center for Digital Innovation in Learning (CDIL), Digital Scholarship and the BC Libraries have begun exploring the use of AR experiences in teaching and research. As part of this effort, we have been experimenting with Apple’s Reality Composer, a free AR app that allows for the creation of basic AR experiences without the need for coding skills. Here you will find a series of AR projects created with it. Clicking the image on an iPhone or iPad* will automatically open the model.

*Currently, these experiences are only accessible through Apple iPhones or iPads running an up-to-date iOS. We have iPads and Reality Composer as part of our 3D modeling station.

Animated robot AR model as seen on the Apple Quick Look gallery

Lion-headed stamp AR model created in the BC Digital Studio

Simple 3D models in Apple’s .usdz format allows them to be opened in AR and to be in a WordPress or Omeka page, as seen here. Clicking the image on an iPhone or iPad will automatically open the model in AR when pointed at a horizontal surface; clicking on a Mac or PC will download the AR file.

The two models above are simply models, but using Apple’s Reality Composer allows you to create more complex experiences with basic interactions without needing to code.

In the example below, built for a Boston College biology class, 3D models of hominid skulls were created using photogrammetry, uploaded into Sketchfab, and placed in AR to share with students, in order to replicate the experience of engaging with the models in the classroom.

Simply click the 2D image of a skull, and the AR experience will begin to load. Please note that the experience may take 15 seconds to 1 minute or so to load depending on the iPhone or iPad in use and the internet connection, and requires a flat, horizontal anchoring surface.

AR experience created by Nina Araújo; 3D models by Matt Naglak.

Hominoid skull

A second example was created using 3D models of an active excavation site just outside of Rome, Italy. It allows users to “re-excavate” a specific ancient tomb on the site and see the specialized burial technique that was utilized. The experience opens at life-size, so a relatively open space is necessary (Trigger warning: a 3D model of an adult skeleton uncovered which dates to around 100 BC is shown). 3D models by the Gabii Project; AR experience by Matt Naglak.

Ancient tomb outside of Rome Italy

Interested in AR but on a Google or Android device? Check out the variety of AR apps available for download from Google Arts and Cultures or from the Google AR/VR page. Note these apps are mostly also available on Apple products as well.

Raised map showing a bridge in Charleston

GIS Contest Winners

It is with great pleasure that the Boston College Libraries announce the winners of the 11th Annual Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Mapping Contest at Boston College. This year we added a new category for digital maps in addition to the traditional poster category.  A special thanks to the students who completed and submitted their work during this time of global crisis!

In the category for Poster by a graduate student:
-First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to: Xinyi Zeng, Geology, for “Anthropogenic Drivers for Actively Expanding Pearl River Delta from 1990 to 2019.”
-Second place award of a $50 Amazon Gift Card to: Ashley Parry, Sociology, for “Racial and Class Disparities in Access to Child Care: A Case Study of Boston.”

In the category for Digital Map by a graduate student:
First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to: Megan Kopp, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, for “Surficial geologic map and cross-section of the Ellisburg and Sandy Creek, New York quadrangles”

In the category for Digital Map by an undergraduate student:
-First place award of a $100 Amazon Gift Card to:
Mary Su, International Studies/MCAS, for “Paying for Livelihood.”

Awards were based on map quality, use of GIS as a research tool and originality.  Special consideration was given to topics exploring diversity and inclusion.

Spring 2020 Data Services Workshop

Digital Scholarship is happy to announce a series of 6 data-related workshops throughout Spring 2020. As the 2020 census will be launched on April 1st, our workshops are designed to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of the census, building data skills of using, managing and visualizing census data and other data sources in social science.  We hope you can join us! All events will be held in the Digital Studio (O’Neill Library 205). Please register for each event using the corresponding link.