+ Crowdsourcing with Transkribus at Amsterdam City Archives

When we work together, there’s so much we can achieve! Amsterdam City Archives and VeleHanden have just launched a fantastic crowdsourcing initiative which combines the power of our Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology with the talents of volunteer transcribers.

Image credit: Amsterdam City Archives

Amsterdam City Archives are interested in opening up access to the records of Amsterdam’s notaries, which span from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. These documents are ripe for further exploration for those interested in the rich social and economic history of the Dutch capital.  The ultimate aim is to create a fully searchable record of this precious handwritten collection.

The team have been working with our Transkribus platform to train HTR models to recognise different parts of this collection.

The HTR models were used to generate automated transcripts of the documents. It is now up to volunteers to correct any errors made by the machine!

The project is hosted on VeleHanden, a successful crowdsourcing platform created by the company PicturaeCrowd leert computer lezen is directly connected to the Transkribus web interface, meaning that any changes made by volunteers can be fed straight back into the system to improve the automated recognition.

Anyone can take part in this new project and explore various difficulty levels to find documents they are interested in.  Volunteers collect points for their transcription work which can be redeemed at exhibitions and events at Amsterdam City Archives.

We are really looking forward to seeing what the computer can learn from the crowd…

Mark Ponte from Amsterdam City Archives gave us a sneak peak of the project at our recent Transkribus User Conference

CORNELIS STAAL 1749-1753 – 1 – Beginner – 13131 – A31239000579. Screenshot from Crowd leert computer lezen. Image credit: Amsterdam City Archives.
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