Last week my team at the Getty launched our latest big project, Pietro Mellini’s Inventory in Verse, 1681. Five years of work, contributing scholars from multiple countries, two different Drupal versions, and development team members coming and going have finally led to this first of its kind (for us, anyway), completely digital publication of scholarly work, which translates and interprets this unique manuscript of the inventory of Pietro Mellini’s art collection, written entirely in verse.
The first half of the project that began in 2000, which I did not work on, involved building a scholar workspace in Drupal 6, which enabled the scholars to collaborate on the same material from the comfort of their various countries.
The second half, the part where I came in, was to build a public-facing, fully-annotated and citable digital publication of their work, which we built in Drupal 7.
Easily the two coolest features are the manuscript view pages and the list of artworks page.
The Manuscript Viewer
Visit every page of the manuscript and zoom in to check every little detail of Mellini’s writing.
View the transcription and/or English translation of every page.
View the different versions side-by-side.
Read the scholars’ notes for select passages by clicking on the highlighted selections.
Use the linked margin notes to find out more information about each work.
List of Artworks
Find out what known artwork, if any, the scholars have identified as being part of the Mellini collection.
Compare how the same work was described–usually in much more technical detail–in Mellini’s 1680 inventory of the same collection.
Use the convenient filters to find out how many works, if any, Mellini owned from your favorite artist.
Jump to the Research Notes for each identified or possibly identified image to see more information and provenance.
Five years and the hard work of numerous people went into this publication, but personally I’d like to thank the team members I worked with myself over the past two years–Susan Edwards, Tom Scutt, Ahree Lee, JP Pan, Murtha Baca and Francesca Albrezzi. Hey guys–we did it!
I have learned so much on this project, about Foundation 5 and responsive design, and about customizing sharing options for the most popular social media communities. I was lucky to work with great people from the GRI, and with a beautiful design from one of our talented Museum designers, and I’m so glad we finished it on schedule. I’m still sad we had to lose some of the features from the earliest iterations of the project, but the skills I’ve learned on our little mobile tour means that next time I can spend time on building more complex interfaces.
Congrats to my team Liz, Alicia, and Cathy, and to the early architects, Annelisa and Molly! We all rock!
Did you know that you can use " in a mailto:?subject=, but not %22?* Well, now you do. That was an annoying little problem, although to be fair, not nearly as annoying as trying to figure out why I could make Facebook share the new pages, but no one else could. Thank the gods for stackoverflow, that’s where I find most of the answers to my many coding issues. In this case, it’s how I learned about the “Do you want to make this app and all its live features available to the general public?” button. Thanks for not including that in your Share tutorials, Facebook!
I have learned a heck of a lot–over more time than I thought it would take–about customizing share buttons for social networks. I’d like to thank Pinterest for being by far the easiest of them all, and I curse Google+ for being a thorn in all my sides (‘though Facebook was no picnic either). Despite my best efforts to control the information using schema.org and itemprops, Google+ still insists on pulling its share info from just the og:title tag, which is not nearly enough information for one tag. I hate you, Google+. Just want you to know that.
Soon I’ll be able to post a link to this project that has ruled my life for the past two months. I’m hoping it’ll be today, for Veterans Day. It would be especially fitting for a project called “World War I: War of Images, Images of War.”
[ *Edited to add: And it turns out %22 wasn’t the problem at all–apparently the combination of two quotes and a colon is what was flipping out the email share. Couldn’t find a combination that would work, so I had to nix the quotes in favor of the colon. So stupid. ]