British Library Collaboration

In Metadata Games’ collaboration with the British Library, players can greatly expand the British Library’s collections’ accessibility for public research, reuse, and repurposing. Ships Tag, Book Tag, and Portrait Tag are amazing opportunities for players to explore intricate maps, geological diagrams, charts, illustrations, landscapes and more. What are you waiting for? Choose a game:

Ships Tag


In our first collaborative game with the British Library, tag naval images from the library’s immense collections!

Book Tag


Wished there was a fun way to organize and understand the world’s archived books? Check out Book Tag!

Portrait Tag

portrait tag

Are you a people name-dropping whiz? Think you know your 16th-18th century celebrities? Try out Portrait Tag!

Play, Tag, Connect! Tiltfactor Announces Collaboration with the British Library on Metadata Games

Media contact: Amy D. Olson | | 603-646-3274

HANOVER, N.H. – June 18, 2014 – Dartmouth College’s Tiltfactor, an interdisciplinary innovation studio dedicated to designing and studying games for social impact, has announced a new collaboration with the British Library on three new games: Ships Tag, Book Tag, and Portrait Tag. Each game provides the public with an opportunity to not only explore but also add to what we know about images from the British Library’s collection.

The new tagging games are part of Tiltfactor’s Metadata Games, a free and open source gaming platform through which the public can help label collections by providing descriptions or keywords for an image through “tagging.” The tags serve as important metadata, or data embedded with or alongside collections, making the content searchable later, which is something that many recent digitized collections lack.

Ships Tag

“The collaboration with the British Library is an incredible opportunity to make a million new images more findable and usable through these games,” said Mary Flanagan, founding director of Tiltfactor and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor in Digital Humanities at Dartmouth. “This extraordinary international effort will allow us to conduct new research into crowdsourcing as well and discover how the images might be used by the public,” added Flanagan.

The collaboration between Tiltfactor and the British Library presents an interesting way for the public to engage with the Library’s collection of over a million public domain images from within their digitized collection of over 65,000 books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including intricate maps, geological diagrams, charts, illustrations, landscapes, and more, which were posted onto Flickr Commons in December 2013. In Ships Tag— players tag naval images, in Book Tag—players tag book covers and title pages, and in Portrait Tag— players tag portraits from books, which helps build the British Library’s metadata while also expanding the collection’s accessibility for public research, reuse, and repurposing.


British Library Digital Curator Nora McGregor and British Library Labs Project Manager Mahendra Mahey stated that, “As an institution committed to sparking creativity, the British Library is always looking for ways in which to support the innovative use of our digital collections, particularly through initiatives like the Flickr Commons upload and other associated projects run by the British Library Labs team. This project with Metadata Games offers a unique opportunity to both enable better discovery of these wonderful images, while also helping to inform our own processes for enhancing metadata through crowdsourcing in the future.”

“Through our Metadata Games with the British Library, we look forward to furthering research in player motivation and in the novel uses of the library’s incredible collections,” said Sukie Punjasthitkul, Tiltfactor’s project manager.

To play Ships Tag, Book Tag, and Portrait Tag, the Metadata Games created in collaboration with the British Library, please visit:

Portrait Tag

About Metadata Games

Metadata Games ( is a free and open source digital gaming platform developed by Tiltfactor Laboratory at Dartmouth College, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The suite of games enables archivists to gather and analyze information for digital media archives in novel and exciting ways, and provides social science and information science researchers a novel tool with which to investigate crowdsourcing and human computation behaviors and outcomes. Institutions and researchers interested in the project and datasets are encouraged to contact Tiltfactor.

About Tiltfactor

Tiltfactor Laboratory (, a design studio based at Dartmouth College, is dedicated to understanding how games can be used to generate new knowledge. Tiltfactor designs, studies, and launches games, across a variety of platforms, that use core psychological principles and strategies to promote learning and impact players’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Founded and led by Dr. Mary Flanagan, Tiltfactor uses its unique design methodology, Critical Play, to incorporate fundamental human values and psychological principles to promote pro-social values such as cooperation, perspective taking, empathy, and civic engagement. Follow us @tiltfactor on Twitter.

About The British Library and British Library Labs

The British Library ( is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website – – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

British Library Labs is an initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that invites researchers and developers to work with the British Library and our digital collections to address an important research question. Follow us @BL_Labs on Twitter or visit


National Endowment for the Humanities
American Council of Learned Societies