The Digital Humanities Laboratory is a service at the National Library of Norway that assists scholars, students, and library users in their engagement with digital tools and methods in the pursuit of humanistic questions.
Our library is deeply committed to facilitate research infrastructure that draws on the massive body of digital content made available as a result of our digitization efforts. This research infrastructure comprises access to digital collections of all material types (books, newspapers, journals, manuscripts, pictures, sound, videos, films), metadata, and a pool of tools and methods developed for research purposes.
Digital collections and services
Bokhylla (The Bookshelf) is an online service offering users with a Norwegian IP address access to every book published throughout the history of Norway. Users without a Norwegian IP address can apply for access for specific purposes, primarily research, education and professional translation. Bokhylla opens new and exciting possibilities in terms of innovative research methods such as distant reading, data mining, topic modelling, and literary network analysis.
The digital newspaper service is based on agreements between the National Library and a growing number of Norwegian newspapers. These agreements secure digital delivery of new publications and the digitization of historical newspaper archives. A central aspect of these agreements is the right of Norwegian libraries to make newspaper archives available on their premises.
The National Library and NRK have entered an agreement for publishing content from the digital radio archive on nb.no. For more than a decade, the National Library has been digitizing NRK’s entire historical radio archive and currently serves as a physical and digital remote archive for the broadcaster. This agreement means that all radio programmes where NRK holds the copyright, and performer and producer rights, will eventually be freely available for online streaming on nb.no. Initially, this will include most of NRK’s news broadcasts – from the oldest recordings to current programmes.
Språkbanken offers digital language resources for use in research and in the development of language technology. Språkbanken contains, among other things, corpora of written and spoken language, i.e. large collections of text and speech in machine-readable format. The resources can be downloaded from Språkbanken’s website free of charge.
The National Library of Norway is responsible for developing and maintaining bibliographic standards and an online national bibliography. Recent developments in bibliography data science have demonstrated that a national bibliography is not merely a site for information retrieval but rather an invaluable source of knowledge about a nation’s cultural heritage. Producing bibliographic metadata is a core activity and forms the backbone of the National Library’s research infrastructure. Held by the BIBSYS Library System (Alma), bibliographic data produced for the national bibliography are available in MARC 21 format and Dublin Core via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) which means that they are easily accessible for research purposes.
The National Library has designed an API for digitized books and newspapers and provides access for scholars to run the API in Jupyter Notebook. No programming skills are required using Notebook. The API allows for textual analysis ranging from generation of frequency lists, concordances, collocation analysis, n-grams, named-entity recognition and computational analysis of narrative structures. Metadata contained in our bibliographies are included in the API, allowing for integrated analysis of full-text data and bibliographic metadata.
The National Library of Norway was one of the co-founders of the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) which is a community of research, national and state libraries, museums, archives and image repositories committed to providing access to high quality image resources. The IIIF concept opens up an exciting field of new possibilities for sharing content across platforms and collections and for digital humanities research on photography. The National Library has implemented this format for all new input to its digital collection.
Digitization and Diversity: Potentials and Challenges for Diversity in the Culture and Media Sector. A collaboration between the Norwegian Business School (BI), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the National Library of Norway, and the University of Copenhagen. Financed by the Research Council of Norway (KULMEDIA). Project website
Data-Mining the Digital Bookshelf. A collaboration between the University of Oslo (Centre for Ibsen Studies) and the National Library of Norway. Funded by the Research Council of Norway. Project website
Digital Corpus and Dictionary of Norwegian Medieval Latin Texts. A collaboration between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Kunnskapsforlaget, and the National Library of Norway. Funded by the Research Council of Norway. Project website
MIRAGE: A Comprehensive AI-Based System for Advanced Music Analysis. A collaboration between the University of Oslo (Department of Musicology) and the National Library of Norway and funded by the Research Council of Norway (IKTPLUSS)
Health Communication Regimes (HeCoRe). A collaboration between the University of Oslo, the Institute for Social Research, Oslo Metropolitan University and the National Library of Norway and funded by the Research Council of Norway.
The National Library of Norway participates in the Norwegian research infrastructure project CLARINO. CLARINO, a consortium of Norwegian universities and research institutions, is funded by the Research Council of Norway. The goal of CLARINO is to realise the Norwegian part of the European CLARIN project. The ultimate goal is to make existing and future language resources readily accessible to researchers and to bring e-science to the humanities. Examples of such resources are text corpora (large collections of digital text), collections of collected speech, digital dictionaries and databases of various types.
CLARIN is all about conservation, reuse, disclosure and sharing of research data within the humanities. The idea is that researchers at European research institutions simple possible will gain access to research resources in their own and other European countries via a joint search system; the institutions in the CLARIN network will set up services for searching their own resources, and based on the restrictions imposed on the individual resource (copyright, privacy etc.), the individual researcher will be given access to the resource by authenticating themselves via their home institution.
The primary task of The National Library in CLARINO is to act as the national coordinator for the harvesting and exchange of metadata between the Norwegian CLARINO institutions and to make these available to the total of institutions in the CLARIN network. The National Library also functions as a content provider of language resources, to the CLARIN network and others.