Welcome to the Annotations @ Harvard website. This site highlights different ways annotations are being used in teaching and research across Harvard, as well as links to available resources. If you have, or know of, an interesting use case of Annotations that we could highlight on this page, please contact let us know at atg@fas.harvard.edu and we’ll add it to the site.


Annotation tools available in Canvas:

With the availability of LTI, there are three tools currently being piloted in Canvas courses: CritiqueIT, the HarvardX Annotation Tool, and Perusall. For more information on how to have these set up in your course, please contact your school Academic Technology department. An overview of the tools can be found on the Academic Technology for FAS website.

Below are some highlighted uses of Annotations in different areas of the University.


Professor Richard Wolf (Music) - Audio Annotation in WordPress
Professor Wolf has a large collection of music  recordings that he has made during his research in South Asia.  He was looking for a way to share his work, along with his time-based annotations.  With aid from a Barajas grant, he worked with developers from CritiqueIT to develop an annotation tool that takes his audio from SoundCloud and allows him to add his time-based annotations via a plug-in to his WordPress site.  (If you are a Harvard Faculty member and would like to incorporate this type of tool in your WordPress site, please contact atg@fas.harvard.edu.)

Professor Mark Schiefsky (Classics) - WordMapper
A method to compare text segments and annotate two source texts with a single tool.  WordMapper is a bookmarklet tool (based on a JavaScript tool that Mark created).  WordMapper can be added as a shortcut to your browser.  It allows users to select text from two source documents on a single web page and map the corresponding text selections to each other, along with an annotation.  Professor Schiefsky and his colleagues use WordMapper to compare Ancient Greek and Arabic medical texts.  It has useful application for language classes  comparing and commenting on multiple versions of a translation.


Professor Judith Ryan and Gernot Waldner (Comparative Lit.) German 141 Social Dynamics in Twentieth Century Modernism
This course made use of the HarvardX Annotation Tool to collaboratively annotate German texts during section.  Students were asked to highlight text with specific comments or translations, which would be projected on screen and used as a seed for discussion.

Professor Martin Puchner and Yanping Zhang (English) Humanities 12 - Essential Works in World Literature
The course asked students to post online a couple of paragraphs each week about their readings of the texts. The online annotations served as a supplement to the postings, since it helped students to focus on specific paragraphs. The feedback from students was positive - they liked the close-reading as well as the interface, which allows them to locate places of interest and comment on each others' comments. The visual capability to add related annotations to a historical map was especially interesting and welcomed.

Other related projects in the works:

Image Media Manager
IIIF Workbench Discovery project