Scalar, an open source software platform, is alternately a presentation program akin to PowerPoint, an archiving tool useful for annotating and organizing media collections, a multi-author text composition tool with rich embedded media capabilities, or a web-based authoring environment for creating multi-linear arguments.
Scalar grew out of a collaborative design process that included leading interaction designers, scholars, archivists, publishers and editors. The “look” of a Scalar book derives either from templates (as in the blogging platform WordPress) or from custom style parameters. Among the software’s most striking capacities are a rich suite of visualization tools to allow authors to see the shape of their collections and writing.
Upon its recent public release, Scalar immediately earned an Editors' Choice award from PC Magazine, where the review cited the platform's “novelty, accessibility, and capability.” Scalar was developed by the Alliance for Visual Networking Culture (ANVC), led by Professor Tara McPherson (University of Southern California), with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
IPRH has become a partner in the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture. The ANVC seeks to enrich the intellectual potential of the humanities to inform understandings of an expanding array of visual practices as they are reshaped within digital culture, while also creating scholarly contexts for the use of digital media in film, media and visual studies. By working with humanities centers, scholarly societies, and key library, archive, and university press partners, the ANVC is investigating and developing sustainable platforms for publishing interactive and rich media scholarship, including Scalar. To learn more about Scalar and the ANVC, visit http://scalar.usc.edu/.
Check our calendar for upcoming Scalar-related events.