Crowdsourcing the world's heritage

NB: this post was last updated 1 April 2024. In general, I add new sites but don't remove old sites that are no longer live. This post is now supplemented with another on National approaches to crowdsourcing / citizen science. I've also shared a 2015 list of 'participatory digital heritage sites' that includes many crowdsourcing sites. Contact me via my main website contact page to suggest a site.

It's all too easy to forget that there are international 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.

If you're interested in crowdsourcing in cultural heritage, my edited volume has chapters with lessons learnt from a range of projects.

English-language projects tend to be easier to find, but for completeness: (thanks Rita Singer ) and  (thanks @BuffaloResearch),,

  • 'Your project goes here' – what have I missed? correction
Correcting text from the Bibliothèque nationale de France on 'Correct'.

16 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing the world's heritage”

  1. Hy,
    Examples of crowdsourcing projects in France:

    – Les herbonnautes: This site offers you to participate in the creation of a scientific database from millions of photos of plants of the Herbarium of Paris.

    – Rosalis : Call old photograph identification

    – Mémoire des hommes, collaborative indexing and participate in the enrichment of the base of the Dead for France in the First World War

    – PLAIR: Platform correction of OCR for Rouen's newspaper

    – Archives Départementales du Cantal: Collaborative indexing civil status of departmental archives

  2. Thank you for all the international examples! Here's another project that will start Fall 2015, pending success of our current grant application:

    Indigenous Digital Archive — Will use the International Image Interoperability Format #iiif, #openannotation, and #crowdsourcing to create effective access to mass digitized documents otherwise unavailable to the native people whose family, individual, and community histories were affected by events recorded therein. Project of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe and collaborators including the State Tribal Libraries and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, an institution by all 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. First round focuses on federal records related to the government Indian Boarding and Day Schools of the 1890s-1920s and records relating to land rights. @AnnaNaruta

    1. Thanks for sharing, Anna, and good luck with your grant application!

      I may be reading over your page too quickly (I'm on a deadline!) but I'm reminded of early work on the Reciprocal Research Network and more recent work on Mukurtu. If you haven't already seen them, they might help you refine the specification details for your own system. I love that you're hosting documents on the Internet Archive – how did you find the quality of the OCR?

      Cheers, Mia

      1. Hi Mia,
        Yes, have been in conversation with Mukurtu, and using that platform could be viable for us once there's integration with the International Image Interoperability Format (IIIF). IIIF is the thing that allows us to do effective annotation, especially of mass digitized stuff, without pre-obsoleting ourselves within a totally custom-built system. Our pilot texts are on Internet Archive, though we don't know that this is where things would be primarily once we're live. The OCR (they use ABBYY) is ok, considering that these documents are, as we say, highly OCR-resistant.

        About the International Image Interoperability Format ( and why we're using it, video is now available from the May 5 presentations at the National Gallery of Art in DC.

        1. IIIF is increasingly important, I wonder if that'll prompt more projects to incorporate it? Are you planning to use annotations for transcriptions? I'm wondering how the annotation model translates into a user interface for different types of task.

          Cheers, Mia

  3. Some notes from DH2016 to investigate properly afterwards – thanks to people who suggested links! 'Pedro Nilsson Fernandez' work' 'PAGANS has been developed in Italy with the collaboration of Italian art historians and museums'

    Kiyonori Nagasaki ‏'Moreover, provides several micro-task crowd-sourcing projects mainly in Japanese contents.

    @Irl_HeritageDig 'see @duchas_ie for crowdsourced digital humanites project of Irish folklore in the Irish language'

    ‏@duchas_ie 'Also @logainm_ie has a crowdsourcing project for place names in Ireland see '

    Thanks to @mdesjardin @omurphy16 @PFDorado @mdesjardin @knagasaki @DH_FBK @Irl_HeritageDig for suggestions!

  4. Hi, this is a great resource!
    Our project with crowd transcribing Edvard Munch's correspondence has come to an end, so please remove the link to the wiki at
    Thanks, and all the best!

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