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portrait of Ting Chung

Ting Chung

Communication Expert , Austrian National Library

portrait of Georgia Evans

Georgia Evans

Editorial & PR Officer , Europeana Foundation

Enrich Europeana: launching the renewed Transcribathon platform

The Enrich Europeana platform aims to make it possible for users to transcribe and enrich a wide variety of digital heritage collections. In this guest post, Ting Chung of the Austrian National Library - a project partner in Enrich Europeana - gives us an update on the launch of the project’s new crowdsourcing tool for transcribing, annotating, and georeferencing historical documents. 

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Transcribathon participants - Ingrid Oentrich

2019

Austrian National Library

Austria

CC BY

A new crowdsourcing tool

Transcribathon.eu is an online tool specially designed to enrich content from Europeana Collections, as part of the Enrich Europeana project. It allows people to transcribe and annotate cultural heritage material from Europeana Collections and national aggregator portals. Annotations made to content through this portal (also known as semantic enrichments) will be added to content in Europeana Collections and in aggregators’ or content providers’ portals. 

The platform harnesses the power of the crowd to enhance digital cultural heritage and make it more accessible and searchable. Each transcribed word enables the more effective reuse of historical materials in research and education, and contributes towards preserving Europe’s cultural heritage. 

Launching the new tool

The renewed platform was inaugurated on the 24th September 2019 through a special mini-transcribathon event at the Austrian National Library, with teams competing to transcribe documents from the Europeana 1989 Collection. The event was open to the public and we were delighted to welcome over 50 participants, as well as our introductory speakers Max Kaiser (Head of Research & Development, Austrian National Library), Harry Verwayen (Executive Director, Europeana Foundation) and Professor Wolfgang Mueller of the University of Vienna, who discussed the Fall of the Iron Curtain and the importance of crowdsourced material for the education and research sector.

Transcribathon participants - Ingrid Oentrich

2019

Austrian National Library

Austria

CC BY

The competition took place between teams, and groups of up to six people competed to transcribe as many documents as possible within 90 minutes. Participants had a unique opportunity to work with original documents from the time of the Fall of the Iron Curtain and become an integral part in the digitisation process of these historic materials. Documents in German, English, Romanian, French, Latvian and Lithuanian were up for transcription. The winners were those who transcribed the most characters and contributed the most tags for people and locations within the time limit. 

After the fast-paced competition, Mircea Diaconu and Vlad Vasiliu - two participants in the Romanian Revolution 1989 - spoke to the teams, sharing their own experiences of the period and even showcasing original documents. Our last guest was the Transcribathon Champion from Europeana 1914-1918, Eva Anna Welles, who discussed the importance of participating in crowdsourcing initiatives.

During this launch event, participants transcribed over 60,000 characters from 105 documents hosted on Europeana, a wonderful achievement! 

Transcribathon participants - Ingrid Oentrich

2019

Austrian National Library

Austria

CC BY

Be part of the cultural legacy

Anyone can join the transcribathon.eu community to enrich cultural heritage material and compete with other volunteer historians to make it to the top transcribers leaderboard. Joining is free and the projects are open to everyone - you just need an account on the platform!

The event was organised within the scope of the Enrich Europeana project and is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.

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