+ Machine Reading the Archive in Cambridge

It was a sunny Tuesday morning when the READ project made it to the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge for our latest workshop.  Louise Seaward (Bentham Project, University College London) and Sebastian Colutto (University of Innsbruck) delivered a presentation and workshop on automated text recognition for handwritten and printed text.

The Mathematical Bridge at Queen’s College, University of Cambridge [Image by Louise Seaward]
Whilst Sebastian gave a technical overview of how our Transkribus platform can be used for automated text recognition, Louise explained the potential benefits of the automatic transcription and searching of documents from the perspective of a historian.  The team then delivered a hands-on workshop where staff and students from the university were able to get to grips with Transkribus.  Participants learnt how computers can be trained to recognise handwriting and how accurate this recognition can be.  There was also much interest in new methods for the automated recognition of printed text, which can produce even better results than Optical Character Recognition (OCR)!

Sebastian Colutto delivers a Transkribus workshop at the University of Cambridge [Image by Louise Seaward]
The event was part of ‘Machine Reading the Archive‘, a training and development programme for digital methods organised by Cambridge Digital Humanities Network, Cambridge Big Data and the Cambridge Digital History Programme.  The READ project looks forward to contributing to the programme again in the future!

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