Thought I’d take a picture of the national library of Wales today as I was passing it, as I had a lecture on it earlier today. Brace yourself for some “cool” national library of Wales facts.

1) It’s pretty big…

The national library of Wales is one of 6 copyright libraries for the UK. Others include one in Scotland, one at the trinity college university in Dublin, one in Oxford, one in Cambridge and one somewhere else. (Google would know). That means anything published in the UK either in print or online (e-books/e-journals), can be found in this library.

2) It does a lot of history related things…

Part of the work done at the library is digitalisation. Basically they take old things like newspapers and maps and make them freely available on the Internet for people to use. This requires a lot of storage space since they have thousands of old material. 

3) It’s not as easy as it sounds…

There is an issue called page warping with old texts/newspapers where they curve slightly. When using the fancy complex scanners that they have, it jumbles up the first letters of each line and places them on top of each other. This makes the start of each line difficult to read.

4) This isn’t easy to fix…

There are two ways to fix this, digitally and manually. The digital way is to create a program called a de-warper that fixes these issues automatically as the piece is being scanned. However, a program that can do this while handling all the large sets of information the texts provide has not currently been made. This leaves the manual way which is as it sounds i.e manually correcting any issues by transcribing from the original text. This is a long drawn out task that is often crowd soured (getting the public to help).

5) People actually do that…

One guy who apparently helps the Australian national library spends 80 hours a week transcribing texts! 

There are your facts. Impress your friends with your new found knowledge! Or just forget it all…