Dr Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert

Adi Keinan Schoonbaert
Digital Curator, Asian and African Collections
digital research, 3D modelling, digital mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), OCR/HTR for non-Western languages, crowdsourcing

Adi Keinan-Schoonbaert is Digital Curator for Asian and African Collections. 

Adi has a BA and MA in Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures (Tel Aviv University). More recently she completed a PhD in Heritage Studies (UCL, 2013) focusing on Israeli and Palestinian archaeological inventories and GIS in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Her postdoctoral research project, also at UCL (2014-2015), was an AHRC-funded joint UCL-British Museum crowdsourcing initiative called MicroPasts, aiming to crowdsource tasks associated with archaeological and historical digital collections located in universities, museums and archives.

She joined the British Library in 2015 as Digital Curator (Polonsky Fellow) for the Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project, working with this unique digital collection in different ways. Later she was Project Manager (Digital Learning) for Discovering Sacred Texts, a website celebrating the Library’s diverse religious collections. In 2018 she joined the Digital Scholarship Department as one of the digital curators in the Digital Research team, assigned to work with Asian and African collections.

Adi’s current role includes promoting the use of British Library’s digital collections and data, offering support for anyone wishing to use them, especially those aspiring to undertake computational and data-driven research. Her work involves sharing knowledge and expertise, training and advising staff throughout the Library in digital scholarship, and regularly encouraging the implementation and integration of digital collections and digital tools into curatorial functions, whether project-based or business as usual. She maintains connection to the global ecosystem of scholars, labs and institutions operating in the digital scholarship domain, keeping up with developing trends in this dynamic research landscape.

Examples of current projects and areas of work include Two Centuries of Indian Print, a project digitising rare early Indian printed books with a strong Digital Humanities strand; exploring solutions for automatically transcribing Arabic handwritten texts; the design and delivery of the Digital Scholarship Training Programme’s ‘Season of Place’, providing training for Library staff on digital mapping tools and methods; and encouraging 3D modelling of British Library collection items.