Multi-Touch Tables Offer a New Way to Experience Our Materials

This fall, the Boston College Libraries are introducing two multi-touch tables in our public areas to engage students, display digital content, and provide new ways to introduce, exhibit and teach with materials digitally. Library staff has developed two projects for display using software for touch and multi-touch tables over the course of this past summer. The first uses a just developed tool called “Omeka Everywhere” to display photos of student life over the history of Boston College in a new and engaging way. Users can sort through images by date and keyword, zoom in to examine details in the high-definition images, and refer to information about the image. The exhibit offers a fun window into Boston College’s impressive history of campus life, and can show students how their experiences at BC  are both similar to – and different from – those of past students.img_9805

The second project comes from faculty research and is a product of teaming with the Libraries’ Digital Scholarship Group.  Prof. Michael Noone’s study of an original fourteenth-century music manuscript held at the Burns Library was released this month as an online project, called Burns Antiphoner. Users are presented with high resolution digital images of every page of this Franciscan liturgical book, plus new research and data, as described in this newsletter. Using the touch table, users are presented with an enhanced version of the online resource and the ability to view manuscript images up-close and in greater detail. This large format makes the online resource suitable for discussion, collaboration and teaching.

Over the course of the fall semester, additional content  will be rolled out on the touch tables, including an exhibit created by a current Boston College student as part of the Bookbuilders of Boston program. We look forward to finding more ways to partner with faculty and students to create new exhibits and develop digital scholarship projects that take advantage of the capabilities of these touch tables. The touch table is also available for use by classes and we are happy to work with faculty to find ways to integrate it into instruction.

Stop by the third floor lobby of O’Neill Library or the lobby of Burns Library to try out one of the touch tables today! If you are interested in learning more about the touch tables or would like to discuss future project ideas, please contact Anna Kijas (, our Senior Digital Scholarship Librarian.