The project REPUBLIC aims to create a searchable online edition of the resolutions of the States-General of the Dutch Republic (1576-1796). This federal assembly, in which each of the seven United Provinces had a seat, gathered almost every day in The Hague to decide on common matters like defense, foreign policy, finance, trade, and religion. Although small in size, the Dutch Republic is considered to have been one of the Great Powers of the Early Modern Age, mainly due to its prominent position in global trade. Therefore the resolutions of the States-General are a highly important source for national and international history.
In the project, Transkribus provides a fundamental role. Ultimately, some 425,000 pages of handwritten resolutions will be transcribed by HTR through the platform. During the first phase, Huygens ING have created a ground truth corpus of around 1,000 pages, with which several HTR-models have been trained. The latest model, which Huygens ING proudly releases for common use, is performing at a staggering 2.99% Character Error Rate. With the help of volunteers Huygens ING aims at lowering this percentage even further during the next phase of the project. Because of the excellent HTR results they are confident that the ultimate goal, making this important source (re)searchable from all sorts of perspectives, will become reality.