Sharing Public History Work: Crowdsourcing Data

Crowdsourcing was one of¬†the topics at the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ 2012 WebWise Conference.¬†Crowdsourcing is increasing¬†public¬†interest in collections, improving collections management workflows, and becoming easier thanks to several open source software programs.¬†We¬†were pleased to¬†present on it¬†again via a WebWise Reprise webinar.

Recorded:  Wednesday, June 14, 2012

Duration: Approximately 90 minutes

Sharon M. Leon, Ph.D., Director of Public Projects and Associate Professor, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University (
PowerPoint presentation “Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: Some Background and New Tools”

Ben Brumfield, Software Engineer, FromThePage Open-Source Transcription Software ( and twitter @benwbrum)
PowerPoint presentation “Lessons from Small Crowdsourcing Projects”
WebWise presentation recording on YouTube
Transcript of the presentation on Ben’s blog Collaborative Manuscript Transcription

Hosts: Kevin Cherry, Senior Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services and Kristen Laise, Vice President for Collections Care Program, Heritage Preservation

Resources and Projects Mentioned During Webinar:

  • Scripto,¬†an open source tool that allows users to contribute transcriptions to online documentary projects
  • Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source platform for managing and sharing digital heritage
  • Universal Subtitles, online crowdsourcing video transcription tool
  • Scribe, a framework for generating crowd sources transcriptions of image based documents
  • Citizen Archivist Dashboard, a project of the National Archives and Records Administration that uses crowdsourcing
  • Papers of the War Department 1784-1800, a¬†community¬†transcription project
  • What’s on the Menu, a New York Public Library project to transcribe¬†historical restaurant menus
  • Direct Me NYC: 1940, a New York Public Library project to use old phone books to unlock the 1940 Federal Census
  • Tagasauris, provides media annotation services and¬† has teamed up with The Museum of the City of New York to annotate its archives through a NEH funded grant
  • Steve, an IMLS funded museum social tagging project
  • What’s the Score at the Bodleian, a project that enlists the wider community to help describe digitized scores in the collection of Oxford University’s Bodlian¬†Library
  • Waisda?, a video labeling game launched in 2009 where users receive points for tagging

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