Seminar leader blog post

Ian Kerr

Hello Everyone! This is my first week ever leading a seminar so I am more than a little nervous. Luckily for me, I have someone as experienced as Veronica as a co leader who has been well organized and well prepared since the beginning of the week, so she has been helping me get prepared to lead as well, which has been most helpful. She is also being super awesome and posting this blog on her account (for now) because I am currently having difficulties with Hcomms and am unable to post blogs to my account for whatever reason (oh technology, haha.)

With my introduction and subsequent explanation out of the way, lets move on to this week’s topic IFF aka International image interoperability framework. As I am not a very tech savvy individual (which probably explains my issues with Hcomms!) I was initially fairly overwhelmed with the idea of leading seminar conversation on a topic so digitally focused, however after doing the readings assigned for this week, I can safely say it is not so complex and confusing as it might initially seem.

So in short IFF is (to my admittedly limited technical knowledge) a digitation programing interface that allows uniformity and ease of access between many different digitation programs. This is done in order to unite the field of image digitization as well as providing a universal digitation framework that helps academics intuitions better able to access, share, upload, and annotate primary and secondary digital images.

I found learning about IFF this week to be quite fascinating, as it seemingly a huge step forward in the field of image digitization and technological advancements in general. As by having many different digitization programs and tools available in one easy to use framework, it undoubtedly increases productivity in the digitizing academic field. What I mean by this, is instead of academics each using a different image digitization program, IFF instead provides a seemingly universal interface that allows academics form all over the world to communicate, upload and share images across academic institutions with less confusion and more uniformity.

That all being said, which readings assigned for this week are most helpful in learning what IFF and Mirador are? Although I found all of the readings assigned for this week useful in explaining what these two projects are, the three works I found the most useful were: firstly the training manual explaining what the difference was between an image Api and a presentation Api. Secondly: one by Sarah Ann Long “Review: International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); Gallica; e-Codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland,”, and thirdly, was the video introduction to project matador available via YouTube. I found all of these sources did a tremendous job in expaing what these projects are in a simplistic and easy to understand manner that really helped explain what IFF and Mirdor actually are.

Finally onto the questions to consider before tomorrows class:

  1. How could/ or how do programs such as IFF and Miridor advance the field of digitation technology?
  2. What are some possible problems (technological/ digital that could arise while using IFF and Miridor? Are they both easy to use?
  3. How about older academics who are used to using certain programs, is it easy to transition to using IFF?
  4. Although IFF and Miridor are large steps forward in the field of digitization technology, what could be some possible drawbacks to using such a large interconnected framework? Technical limitations (needing to upgrade technology to be able to run IFF, bugs, limitations etc.
  5. What could be done to better clarify misconceptions about IFF? And how could they be clarified? As although the readings were very informative I found that they all presented IFF as this already complete framework or system instead of a work on progress as it clearly is right now.
  6. As IFF is already advancing the filed on digital imagery and connectivity, what could possibly be the benefits of having it universally adopted across all academic institutions? What could possibly be the future for IFF and Miridor?

Whew, this post is much longer than I intended, my apologies. I hope I have provided a simple explanation of IFF and Miridor and am looking forward to discussing these questions (and others tomorrow) with all of you in class.






A late introduction (blog bio)

Greetings, my name is Ian Kerr and I am a history major with third year standing, and I am currently in the process of earning my BA Honors degree. I’ve always been extremely interested in Ancient history and ancient societies such as Ancient Greece, Rome and Ancient Egypt to name a few. However, one of my main passions ever since I was a little kid was my fascination with the middle Ages, particularly the culture and the imagery associated with the era Knights, Kings, Queens, Bishops and so forth, and as such I’ve always wanted to learn more about the era in general. I chose this course because it seems like one of the best opportunities I will ever get to learn about this culture and actually interact with pieces of medieval history first hand, as well as being able to analyze and discuss them, so I am very excited to be taking this course. Some random things about me are that I have a Siamese cat named Benkei (named after the Japanese warrior monk folk hero, who according to legend held a bridge against 20-40 enemy soldiers in one of the most memorable epic last stands in history. Another random thing is that I really enjoy video games, particularly any strategy or fantasy games, such as World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2 or the total war strategy game series. Overall, I am really looking forward to taking this course throughout the year, meeting all of you, and of course learning some really neat stuff about the middle ages.

Why I love the Middle Ages

Ever since I was a little kid I have been fascinated and intrigued by the culture and imagery associated with the Middle Ages. I believe the thing that started my interest in the culture was the film “A Knights tale” starring the late Heath Ledger released in 2001, as a kid, I absolutely adored this film, and although of course it took a more Hollywoodesque approach, I loved how it depicted the culture and society of the Middle Ages, the knights, squires, kings and Queens, and of course, jousting. I loved seeing the different knights hailing from different noble families, each with their own colours and heraldic symbol representing their house, it really got my imagination going as a kid, and every since I saw that film I know I have wanted to learn as much as I can about the period.

This film is also what started my great interest into medieval fantasy such as Lord of the Rings and later Game of Thrones, as well as fantasy games that depict an almost dystopian Middle Ages such as the Dark Souls series, and ones will a more light hearted approach such as World of Warcraft.

So all in all I am super exited to be taking this course because that means I get to learn more about this incredibly interesting period as well as look over actual historical artifacts preserved from this period, it is honestly an incredible opportunity and a dream come true. It honestly kind of blows my mind that we even have access to these historical artifacts not to mention permission to touch them, which reminds me that I need to be less sleep deprived and very careful when I handle such artifacts in the future as to avoid furling the edges, and possibly damaging them. Although, I am currently having a hard time completing and navigating some of the more technical aspects of the course, such as the humanities commons site as well as some of the other sites, I am looking forward to being able to navigate these sites with eventual ease and am thankful I am learning them now, as having accounts set up and knowing these services might be very helpful going into my last couple years of University. All in all I am very much looking forward to learning a combination of technical as well as analytical skills, and just simply having fun and learning about the Middle Ages in this course.