+ READ presents at Digital Humanities conference – report from DHd 2017

In February 2017, the READ project was present at the DHd 2017 in Bern, Switzerland.  The annual conference of digital humanities in German brings together scholars and scientists working at the intersection of humanities and digital technologies. In addition to presentations of new approaches and technological as well as scholarly developments, the focus was laid on sustainability.  Keynotes and slides of the talks are now available online.

In a workshop, organized by Tobias Hodel (State archives of the canton of Zurich), READ brought the developed technologies and approaches closer to the stakeholders, mainly archival institutions with vast holdings and projects dealing with digital editions and transcriptions.  Besides the presentation of Transkribus, our main tool for transcription and Handwritten Text Recognition, the soon-to-be-implemented Writer Identification technology was introduced by Stefan Fiel of the Technical University of Vienna.

Stefan Fiel (Technical University Vienna) demonstrating Writer Identification [Image by Tobias Hodel]
The READ project also organised a panel, bringing together four research infrastructures that deal with the production of text from handwritten sources. Besides the already well-known Textgrid and Transcribo, the Dutch endeavor MONK presented its work with layout analysis and text recognition. Technicalities, longevity and the aim of the different projects were discussed. The virtual research environments for each project are directed at different groups of scholars and researchers. For those interested to find out more, we have contributed to a Dhd blog post comparing the different processes and capabilities of these projects.

READ and Transkribus were not only mentioned in its panel and the workshop but also in talks and presentations of other projects which are working regularly with our tools and algorithms (see i.e. the slides of Eva Fasshauer).  In conclusion, we detect not only an interest from the scholarly community but also a broader commitment to invest time in using our applications.

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