At the READ project, we are dedicated to using new technologies to make historical documents more accessible. Our latest forthcoming tool is an important part of this mission. Transkribus Learn, our free e-learning app will allow users to train themselves to decipher any sort of historical handwriting. It will be particularly useful for students who are just beginning to work with historical material but could be beneficial to anyone who wants to get to grips with a certain script. Try it out!
The e-learning app generates selected lines from a manuscript one-by-one and asks users to transcribe a certain word. Users can practice transcribing as many words as they desire. They can move on to test what they have learnt. The tool keeps a record of how many words have been transcribed correctly so the user can get an idea of their progress. The tool is quick and easy to use – you can transcribe a vast amount of words once you get going. It also works on mobile phones for any keen users who might like to brush up on their transcription skills on their commute!
The e-learning app is connected to the Handwritten Text Recognition technology in our Transkribus platform. Computer-generated transcripts are compared to the suggested words submitted by users. Once users have worked with Transkribus to train a model to process a set of documents, they can be freely included in the e-learning app.
We are still working on our prototype but the e-learning app will be released later in 2017. It will represent a welcome service for anyone who wants to become more familiar with historical handwriting. The e-learning app could also be offered to users in crowdsourcing initiatives – volunteers could practice transcribing and gain confidence before they start contributing to a project.
More updates on the app will be coming soon and we look forward to your feedback!