A Digital Platform For Exploring Physical Collections Within Library Stacks

The New York Public Library has released a tool that allows people to digitally explore collections within its archive of physical historical paraphernalia.

The New York Public Library has released an iPad application intended to recreate collections from the main branch’s physical stacks. Positioned as Biblion: The Boundless Library, the application allows for the exploration of in-depth collections being released in a series over the coming years. The first collection features the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair, including everything from the request forms sent by the wife of a Czech consul asking to run a sandwich stand, to the personal letters of the African American composer William Grant Sill expressing pride for being chosen to write the fair’s theme music.

Phillip Tiongson of the design team Potion explains the approach to transforming the physical collection into a digital experience that takes advantage of the iPad as a platform:

Biblion transfers the physical library experience, where you see the shape of books and understand what’s inside them, into a multi-dimension digital application. We have given the content a shape, so people can intuitively understand what it looks like and want to dive into the story.


Biblion: The Boundless Library