The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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The Digimar Workshop took place on 26/27 April 2016 at the National Marine Biological Library in Plymouth.

Aim of the Workshop

Many Marine Libraries contain large quantities of unique and rare material in print format. Whilst this material may contain valuable information it is often under-utilised due to researchers increasingly relying on electronic information provision.

The main aim of the workshop was to identify and outline potential new digital services and digitisation projects for Marine Libraries in the 21st century that will facilitate access to the unique records and literature they hold.  Different digitisation approaches and possibilities were presented and explored with the aim of synthesising a practical, common way forward.

For more information please contact Barbara Bultmann nmbl at

Digimar Mission Statement
“To form an international community of marine librarians, archivists and data analysts who will strive to increase accessibility of relevant historical information and data. The community will seek to establish guidelines and methodologies, based on existing formats and standards, for digitisation and presenting digitally in uniform ways information currently held in non-digital formats. Pilot projects will provide proof of concept and feasibility of methodologies.
The final aim is to establish a framework for ensuring continuity in the digitisation effort, to maximise searchablily and harvestability in order to establish long term access to marine science material for a diverse community of users, ranging from research scientists to policy makers and social scientists.”

Digimar workshop programme

List of presentations from the workshop:

  1. Wellcome Digital Library – Christy Henshaw, Digitisation Programme Manager, Wellcome Library, UK
    Introduction to Wellcome Digitisation Activities as an example of a big scale digitisation initiative, a visionary scenario for inspiration. Also covering Digital Library Cloud Services (DLCS) as a potential platform for content.
  2. Biodiversity Heritage Library – Jane Smith, Head of Library and Archives, Natural History Museum, UK
    Introduction to the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access (OA) and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” A potential operation model and OA publishing platform for retrodigitised material.
  3. Integrated Marine Information Management System (IMIS) – Heike Lust, Library Manager, Flanders Marine Institute Library (VLIZ), Belgium
    An introduction to the integrated information management approach in the VLIZ library including the technical possibilities of linking digital literature to existing taxonomic and geographical data systems such as WoRMS and Marine Regions. The IMIS system is used for the registration of literature, datasets, project and the expertise of the Belgian marine research community.
  4. Preview of an ambition – a digital multimedia marine archive, a report on experience – Jane Stephenson, National Oceanographic Library, Southampton  
  5. Overview of current digital landscape of European Marine Science Data – Dan Lear, Head of Data, Information & Technology, Marine Biological Assoication, UK
  6. Using thematic and integrated vocabularies (e.g. WoRMS, Marine Regions) for text mining of species info – Lennert Tyberghein, Science Officer, VLIZ, Belgium
    An introduction to text mining of species info from IMIS historical and contemporary literature using the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and Marine Regions, and to how these systems can be used for data archaeology and data publication.
  7. Plazi – Donat Agosti, Director Plazi GmbH and Research Associate, Naturhistorisches Museum, Berne, Switzerland
    Text mining of species data from scientific literature – an introduction to Plazi an association supporting and promoting the development and service of persistent and openly accessible digital taxonomic literature.
  8. Emod-Net – Sarah Faulwetter, Post Doc at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece
    Data archaeology from library resources within the EMODnet project, a consortium of organisations assembling European marine data, data products and metadata from diverse sources in a uniform way.
  9. Cambridge University Library – Huw Jones, Digital Content Specialist
    Many institutions contain written or printed material of great interest both to historians and to contemporary scientists, often including information on subjects such as weather patterns and species distribution. Using the example of our digitisation of the Board of Longitude archive Huw will talk about how metadata standards and vocabularies were used to make the material accessible to a range of scholars, and also to ensure the sustainability of the data and it’s availability to collaborative projects.
  10. EuraslicBart Goossens, Euraslic President
    Introduction to Euraslic – a European network of aquatic libraries

The Workshop was funded by Euromarine and the Marine Biological Association.