It’s all too easy to forget that there are crowdsourcing projects in languages other than English so I thought I’d collect some projects related to cultural heritage, history and science here (following my definition of crowdsourcing in cultural heritage as ‘asking the public to help with tasks that contribute to a shared, significant goal or research interest related to cultural heritage collections or knowledge’). This list is drawn from my PhD research, but this is a fast-moving field and I was focusing on early modern England, so inevitably this list will be missing loads of examples. Please suggest links to help people discover new projects! Also, I’m often taking my best guess at the correct translation for terms, so please correct me if I’ve misunderstood.
- DigiTalkoot has been and gone (launched February 2011, closed November 2012) but was a great example of tasks that helped correct scanned text for the Historical Newspaper Library of The National Library of Finland.
- The National Library of France is involved in a pilot project called ‘Correct’ to correct errors in scanned documents. Further information: Josse, Isabelle. La bnF engagée dans un projet de R&D pour la conception de la plateforme Correct (Correction et enrichissement collaboratifs de textes). Bulletin des bibliothèques de France. [en ligne], n° 5, 2013, http://bbf.enssib.fr/consulter/bbf-2013-05-0037-008. ISSN 1292-8399
- The French version of WikiSource has lots of books to be transcribed.
- There’s a German-language transcription project for the Digitale Edition
Nachlasses Franz Brümmer and related Refine!Editor – it looks like it was designed for student participation and that interested people can register to transcribe via the contact page. Via Simone Waidmann, “Erschließung Historischer Bestände Mittels Crowdsourcing: Eine Analyse Ausgewählter Aktueller Projekte,” Perspektive Bibliothek 3, no. 1 (2014): 33–58, http://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/bibliothek/article/view/14020.
- ARTigo is a German project, with English, French and German-language interfaces. Tag images of artworks through six different games! They also have an active German-language blog.
- Red een Portret (‘Save a portrait’) from the Amsterdam City Archives – help identify photographs or donate money to support the project
- Ajapaik is an Estonian project asking for help identifying historical images.
- Transcriptorium has several non-English datasets you can review to help train their handwriting recognition software
- Ancient Lives is the site for you if you want to learn the ancient Greek alphabet while transcribing papyri.
- Arthur Schnitzler digital ‘is using the Transcribo software to produce a digital transcription and annotation of both typescript and manuscript material’.
- The Bracero History Archive is collecting oral histories in both English and Spanish.
- Cymru1900Wales and Cynefin are both working on Welsh maps and have Welsh and English-language interfaces
- Danish Demographic Database includes transcriptions from volunteers.
- Europeana 1914-1918 and Europeana 1989 are collecting records in many European languages. Wir Waren So Frei is also collecting records about the fall of the Berlin Wall.
- You can index records in many languages on Ancestry’s World Archives Project.
- You can also help Improve Google Translate (not really a heritage project but it helps other projects). Similarly, you can help translate the crowdsourcing platform Pybossa into Italian or learn a language while translating text with Duolingo.
- You can ‘use the site’s comment features to share any supplements (such as citations to published works, transcription of notes not yet addressed, authorial attribution for a particular text, etc.) or remarks on the significance of the manuscript codices and contents’ to help Islamic Manuscripts at Michigan.
- Itinera Nova has volunteer transcribers
- You can help correct and annotate records from ‘more than 100 European archives’ in the Monasterium.Net collaborative archive.
- Help transcribe Dutch natural history collections with Naturalis.
- Transcribe Swedish census records from 1760 with Stockholms Stad.
- Help index Dutch records with Vele Handen.
- The Norwegian The Digital Inn is for ‘sources/documents digitised by institutions, associations or persons outside the organisation of the National Archives of Norway’ – a fantastic way of collecting the work that community historians are doing
- The Danish Politiets registerblade – help transcribe records from the city register.
- ‘Your project goes here’ – what have I missed?
In the last week of July I’ll be teaching ‘Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage’ with Ben Brumfield at the HILT Summer School (Humanities Intensive Learning + Teaching) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Indianapolis, Indiana. Last year’s course was a lot of fun, and was rated very highly by participants, so check out the HILT site if you’d like to spend a week getting to grips with crowdsourcing cultural heritage!