NEH awards a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to CHNM for Crowdsourcing Transcription Tool

CHNM is pleased to announce an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities to support the design and development of a tool for crowdsourcing documentary transcription. The $49,215 award will enable CHNM’s dev team to to build an open source tool to enable researchers to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, thus harnessing the power of the community of users to improve the discoverability and usefulness of the archive.

Digital archives and documentary projects need a viable solution that lowers both the cost and the investment of staff time involved with transcribing of large numbers of historical documents. There will be significant benefits for both the editorial staff and for interested users, whether they are scholarly researchers, students and teachers, or members of the general public. This tool will help to address some of the long-term resource challenges facing many digital documentary editing projects.

We will use the Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800 as a test case for the tool development. The end result of the project will be a generalized tool that can be modified to work with a host of different content management systems, such as Omeka, WordPress, or Drupal. Please contact Sharon Leon if you would like to volunteer to test the tool.

This project is part of the We the People program, which encourages the teaching, study, and understanding of American History and culture.

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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