Further Funding for Transcribe Bentham

By Melissa M Terras, on 11 July 2012

We are delighted to report that the award winning Transcribe Bentham has secured further funding!

UCL’s Bentham Project, which is producing the new scholarly edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, has received a grant of $538,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s ‘Scholarly Communications Programme’, for a project entitled The Consolidated Bentham Papers Repository (CBPR). This funding will come into effect from 1 October 2012 for a period of two years, and will continue the on-going success of the award-winning crowdsourced manuscript transcription project, Transcribe Bentham, which is digitising and making freely available UCL’s vast Bentham Papers collection, which runs to some 60,000 manuscript folios (c. 30 million words).

Transcribe Bentham is a collaboration between the Bentham Project, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, UCL Library Services, UCL Creative Media Services, the University of London Computer Centre, and volunteer transcribers from around the world. Under this new funding, a new partner will be added to the group: the British Library. In the CBPR, almost all of the remainder of the UCL Bentham Papers will be digitised, along with the entirety of the British Library’s own Bentham collection, which runs to 12,500 folios (c. 6 million words). The material will thus be reunited (digitally) for the first time since Bentham’s death in 1832.

The crowdsourced transcription of Bentham manuscripts in Transcribe Bentham has been a great success: volunteers have, as of 15 June 2012, worked on 3,663 complex manuscripts. Transcripts submitted by volunteers have two purposes: they are uploaded to the digital Bentham Papers repository and make the collection searchable for other researchers; and they will form the basis of forthcoming volumes of the Collected Works. The CBPR will also lead to major improvements to the existing transcription interface, which will encourage further participation.

UCLDH are delighted to be part of this project, and to continue to contribute to the transcription of Bentham’s work.

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