ATG's First iBook: Frankfort's Forgotten Cemetery


The Forgotten Cemetary

Frankfort’s Forgotten Cemetery, Academic Technology Group’s (ATG) first iBook project, has finally hit the iTunes Bookstore!  Frankfort’s Forgotten Cemetery is an electronic publication that was repurposed from an existing print project, and has now been updated as an iBook with video, interactive animations and photo galleries.

This iBook was created in collaboration with David Pollack and Gwynn Henderson of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey in the Department of Anthropology (KAS) as part of a series that will address ongoing archaeological projects within the city of Lexington - the next iBook will focus on the Davis Bottoms Oral History project. Publishing their content as an iBook has allowed the clients to make full use of multimedia materials that couldn’t be presented in the original paper publication, especially video. It also allows for nontraditional treatments of graphics and sidebars that are more nonlinear and physically engaging for the audience.

Frankfort’s Forgotten Cemetery was generated with the free program iBooks Author and makes use of existing Adobe InDesign and Photoshop files, as well as video files provided by Tom Law of Voyager Media. The design was largely based on KAS designer Hayward Wilkerson’s work for the original print publication.

According to Robin Jones, iBook developer in the Academic Multimedia service of UK’s Academic Planning, Analytics, and Technology (APAT), the biggest design challenge was finding a way to maintain flow and readability of the main narrative while retaining the sidebars in their original positions. Robin states: “We solved this issue by converting most sidebar material into interactive photo galleries, where the captions carried the sidebar narrative and interactive Keynote presentations allowed for zoomed views of complex forensic graphics involving the human skeleton”.  Also used were iBook “popovers”, which allow for deeper exploration and do not force the user to leave the page to visit a glossary.

The publishing process with Apple was fairly smooth as Apple responded quickly to questions about the process. The review period between the application and actual iTunes publication took about two and a half weeks.

ATG is actively seeking new projects to explore iBooks Author’s potential to the fullest in the creation of engaging, interactive books that take advantage of the many different kinds of media elements available.

Frankfort’s Forgotten Cemetery is available to view on iTunes for free at:

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