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Seek, and ye shall find
by Andy Corrigan

We consider “discovery” one of the pillars of information literacy, and most of us are now familiar with one dominating influence that prolificates our digital world, and that’s Google. The ability to use digital technologies to search and discover is an innate function at our fingertips, but perhaps we are still learning to understand not only the process and the results, but also the next step in that journey?

By incorporating the content for this project into the Cambridge Digital Library platform (which, incidentally, has been intentionally honed to converse with Google), it becomes a part of a digital ecosystem. This means it is now easy for us to access and explore that ecosystem whilst, for example, we are walking through the landscape.

We can simultaneously go on a digital journey whilst discussing Constable’s work. For example, something that inevitably cropped up on all the walks is his close observation of light and weather, the most poetic apex of which, is perhaps his affection for rainbows? The simple act of searching Cambridge Digital Library for the word “rainbow” takes us into a broad landscape of content, the creation of which spans our physical world, over a thousand years, and many themes from science to religion, all a testament to humanity’s creativity, curiosity, and apparent obsession with recording the world around us.

Each node we meet has the power to continue the journey. It’s like reading one of those quest books as a child, we constantly make choices about which way we turn or what we choose to do with the objects we encounter.

You can explore a brief timeline of some of the “rainbows” in Cambridge Digital Library using the virtual exhibit below.