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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday October 2, 2018

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Emily D’Alterio

Emily D’Alterio

Former Editorial & PR Officer , Europeana Foundation

portrait of Sara Di Giorgio

Sara Di Giorgio

Technical responsible of CulturaItalia , Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian Libraries

Bringing culture back to the people: Transcribathon Italia

We talk to Sara Di Giorgio about the importance of digitising cultural heritage as she organises Italy’s first transcribathon as a means of connecting people with their own heritage.

FRAD071-162 Un couple franco-italien dans la Grande Guerre. | Marie BENEDICTI, Europeana 1914-1918, CC0
FRAD071-162 Un couple franco-italien dans la Grande Guerre. | Marie BENEDICTI
Europeana 1914-1918

Transcribathon Italia 2018 is the first event of this nature to be held in Italy. The event takes place from 8-12 October, with two members of the winning team receiving a trip to Brussels to compete at the international transcribathon on 27-28 November.

The event will be held as part of the National Week of Digitisation. Event organiser Sara Di Giorgio of Culturaltalia and the Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of the Italian Libraries (ICCU), says this is an important time to remember the true purpose behind digitising cultural heritage - creating links between digital heritage and people.

Sara works to facilitate and improve the relationships between Europeana and the Italian knowledge community. She does through her work with digitisation, advocacy and engagement. She says, ‘Once heritage is digitised, catalogued and put online via CulturaItalia and Europeana, it must come back to the people. Transcribathon represents a new way to engage people with cultural heritage and share cultural commons.’

We asked Sara to tell us more about Transcribathon. Here's what she had to say...

What is the value of digital initiatives like Transcribathons?

Digital technologies have changed the way people access, produce and use the cultural content. The experience will engage students with historical sources from World War One, raising awareness about the multiple aspects of the conflict. It can transform a digital resource or an image into a story, thanks to the transcription of the entire content of the document.

Berlin Transcribathon 2017 interviews (music) from Europeana on Vimeo.

Who is the Transcribathon aimed at?

Students from the Department of Humanities of the Roma Tre University will participate in this competition,  guided by Professor Paolo Mattera who will add even more scientific value to the transcriptions. The students will gain an extra credit for their participation.

Harry Verwayan recently noted that Transcribathons are his favourite example of digital transformation. What do you think?

I totally agree with Harry! Transcribathons build and engage large communities all over Europe, especially young people, who can use digital means to learn more about World War One to create culture and to develop a European identity. At the same time, thanks to transcriptions, annotations and geo-tags, Transcribathon will amplify the usability of Europeana and ICCU’s vast World War One collection.  

What do you hope to get out of the day?

The involvement and the cooperation of the participants, a deepening of historical understanding of the World War One through a scientific analysis of the transcriptions supported by the University and the experimentation of an innovative way of studying based on the primary sources provided by Europeana.

Want to find out more? Find more information about Transcribathons and the rest of the events around Europe in 2018.