Wellcome Library's digital player is made freely available

The Wellcome Library’s innovative digital player, the piece of software that is used to 'play' digitised content, is now freely available for anyone to download and use.

Developed by Digirati, a design, integration and engineering consultancy, the player can be used to display all types of digital content, including cover-to-cover books, archives, works of art, videos and audio files.

The player responds intelligently to the type of item being viewed. If a digital book is opened, the user can navigate by a thumbnail image of each page, or select a chapter or section of the book, or sometimes multiple volumes. If a video is opened, the option to see thumbnails is replaced by the functionality to pause and scroll through the film.

One of the real strengths of the player is the ability to zoom in on images. This applies to all image content, but works especially well on paintings, posters and other pieces of art. The player also allows users to download items, bookmark images for later and embed the player on users’ websites. The software been optimised for mobile devices.

Commenting on the release of the player software, Robert Kiley, Head of Digital Services at the Wellcome Library, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to share our player. The player provides a consistent, easy-to-use and enjoyable user experience and by encouraging others to build upon it I hope that it will become the de facto open-source tool for delivering digital content across the cultural heritage sector and beyond.”

Tom Crane, Technical Developer at Digirati, added: “We built the player to fit the systems of the Wellcome Library and in doing so have built a tool that anyone could adapt to their own organisation's needs. However, this is just the start. We're hoping that others will extend the player further, providing modules to play even more types of content.”

The software, released under the MIT Open Source licence, can be downloaded from the Wellcome Library GitHub account. From this site users will also be able to download the source code for the Library’s timeline application.

To see the player in action, visit the Wellcome Library site and read our blog post.