The Transcribe Bentham project is an award winning, innovative, ambitious, open-source, participatory online environment that has tested the suitability of crowdsourcing for document transcription of cultural and heritage material. Although twenty volumes of the English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer Jeremy Bentham’s (1748-1832) correspondence have been published so far by the Bentham Project, UCL Library Services holds 60,000 untranscribed folios. Transcribe Bentham has tested the feasibility of outsourcing the work of manuscript transcription to members of the public, aiming to digitise Bentham folios, and, through a wiki-based interface, allowing transcribers access to images of unpublished manuscript images, in order to create an encoded transcript for checking by UCL experts and further publication online. This paper presents results, themes and issues which have emerged from this successful initiative, which recently saw the 10,000th Bentham transcribed by volunteer – or “volunpeer” – labour.
Speaker: Professor Melissa Terras (Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and Professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of Information Studies at UCL).
This seminar is part of the 'The Digital Humanist: Open Resources, Shared Standards, Virtual Communities' series organised by the Cultures of Knowledge project.
Audience: Open to all