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Posted on Tuesday March 3, 2020

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023


Europeana Transcribe is an online citizen science initiative for the enrichment of digitised material from Europeana. Engagement with the platform is supported by events known as transcribathons. 

About the platform

Europeana Transcribe aims to engage the public in transcribing, annotating and georeferencing Europeana’s vast collection of digitised items - particularly handwritten materials - amassed from libraries, archives and museums from all across Europe. The tool offers another way for users to engage with the material shared through Europeana while also using crowdsourcing to enrich and enhance this material. 

Benefits of the platform

Improved accessibility: Creating machine-readable enrichments opens up new possibilities for the analysis, distribution and reuse of digitised heritage material. 

Public engagement: Encouraging the public to work directly with digitised cultural heritage artefacts encourages fosters a deeper understanding of European heritage and encourages new connections with history.

Digital skills: The platform encourages participants to improve their understanding of metadata, ability to read old and unusual writing styles and practice foreign language skills. 

Digital inclusion: Transcription and enrichment open up new possibilities for digital inclusion, enabling text and data to be translated and automatically converted to audio, tactile graphics and braille.

Meaningful contributions: Every enrichment or transcription made through the platform makes Europeana’s content more usable and searchable, and participants can see an immediate impact from their work. 


In addition to the platform, Europeana regularly runs Transcribathon events in cities across Europe. Participants attending the events transcribe handwritten texts from Europeana or national aggregator platforms in teams and present their results to a jury. Prizes are awarded for accuracy and volume of transcriptions and the format offers an innovative way to engage participants with their cultural heritage. Contact Ad Polle for more information about holding a Transcribathon. 

In addition to the physical events, thematic and competitive ‘runs’ are regularly held on the Transcribe Europeana platform. These showcase Europeana's rich and fascinating collections by highlighting content for transcription, and offer prizes for those who transcribe the most material in a set period of time. 

Explore Transcribe Europeana