November 28, 2015

Philadelphia: Penn Libraries Will Host Competition at PennApps Hackathon, Prizes for Best App Using Library Data

From Penn Libraries (via Business Wire):

On September 6, the University of Pennsylvania will host PennApps, the largest student-run hackathon in the world. As part of the event, the Penn Libraries will hold a competition for 200 hackathon participants. The team that develops the best app using library data will win a $500 cash prize

The Libraries’ contribution to the data pool will draw from the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, a vast cache of information which tracks the historical movement of medieval manuscripts among collectors and libraries. The Libraries will also offer data from the Penn Provenance Project, which uses Flickr to record the origin of items now in Penn’s rare book collections. The possibilities for revealing useful patterns in collection building—and finding the next big thing–are virtually endless.

In addition to data, the Libraries will provide the competing teams with work space in the newly renovated Special Collections Center.


Will Noel, Director of the Special Collections Center and the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at Penn Libraries, believes that “including library data in the hack pool, and encouraging use of that data through a cash prize, will help introduce computer science students from Penn and around the world to the significance of library data.”

Direct to News Release

See Also:  William Noel: “Special Collections Center Director Brings Digitizing Expertise to Penn” (February 11, 2013)

See Also: Noel to Head Penn Libraries’ Special Collections Center and Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (June 19, 2012)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Craft Exceptional Digital Experiences for Your Users
Digital UX LJ and ER&L present an exceptional roster of library and user experience (UX) experts for our newest online course, Digital UX Workshop: Crafting Exceptional Digital Experiences for the User-Centered Library. During this 5-week online workshop, you will explore why UX matters, and how to sell user-centered design (UCD) to leadership within your organization. Whether you want to redesign your website, revamp your user interface, create a new discovery tool, implement e-resources, or develop a mobile app—you’ll have a tangible product by the end of the course.