Welcome to Transcribe Bentham

By Tim Causer, on 27 March 2013

Jeremy Bentham

Jeremy Bentham

‘Many hands make light work. Many hands together make merry work‘, wrote the philosopher and reformer, Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1832) in 1793. In this spirit, we cordially welcome you to Transcribe Bentham, a double award-winning collaborative transcription initiative, which is digitising and making available digital images of Bentham’s unpublished manuscripts through a platform known as the ‘Transcription Desk‘. There, you can access the material and—just as importantly—transcribe the material, to help the work of UCL’s Bentham Project, and further improve access to, and searchability of, this enormously important collection of historical and philosophical material.

This is an exciting opportunity to make a genuine difference to research and scholarship by contributing to the production of the new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, and to help create for posterity a vast digital repository of Bentham’s writings. We warmly invite you to take part in this endeavour: no special skills are required, you do not require approval to participate, and every contribution—no matter how small—is of great value to Transcribe Bentham.

Please consult the Transcribe Bentham FAQ for more details on taking part.

You can also read more about Jeremy Bentham, his thought and his importance, and consult resources on deciphering historical handwriting.

Find out more about the consortium behind Transcribe Bentham, and talks and publications by the project team.

Progress Update, 6 to 12 February 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 12 February 2016

It’s Friday which means it’s time to see how our transcribers have been getting on this week.  Transcription continues at a great pace and we would like to thank all the volunteers who have contributed to Transcribe Bentham this week.

15,267 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 91 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,232 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 162 427 37%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 230 581 39%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 774 865 89%
Box 117 369 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 79 381 20%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 811 858 94%
Add MS 35539 870 948 91%
Add MS 35540 931 1012 92%
Add MS 35541 741 1258 58%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,176 35,002 43%

Progress Update, 30 Jan to 5 Feb

By Louise Seaward, on 5 February 2016

It’s time for another progress update from Transcribe Bentham.  Our volunteers have been transcribing diligently since they hit 15,000 transcripts last week.  We are very grateful for the hard work that our transcribers have put into TB this week.

15,176 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 114 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,163 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 161 427 37%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 228 581 39%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 755 865 87%
Box 117 369 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 16 383 4%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 76 381 19%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 788 858 91%
Add MS 35539 870 948 91%
Add MS 35540 931 1012 92%
Add MS 35541 698 1258 55%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,176 35,002 43%

READing Bentham’s handwriting – new project for Transcribe Bentham

By Louise Seaward, on 3 February 2016

Following last week’s fantastic achievement of over 15,000 transcribed pages, I wanted to tell you some about some more good news for Transcribe Bentham.

We are now part of a new project entitled Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents (READ). This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 674943.

The READ project will develop new technology in order to enable computers to read and search historical manuscripts. This research on handwritten text recognition technology has the potential to open up access to all sorts of written material contained in archives across the world. It could also help our volunteer transcribers to untangle some of the complexities of Bentham’s handwriting.

Some of you will know that we have already begun to make use of handwritten text recognition in our TSX platform. Transcribers can ask the computer to assist them with their transcription – for example by asking it to give suggestions for a particular word or line which is hard to decipher. The READ project will develop this technology further and work on new innovations such as a transcription tool, a palaeography tutorial and a mobile application for digitising and organising historical documents.

You can find more information about the READ project on the Faculty of Laws webpage. As the project progress, we will keep you updated on our efforts to train computers to read Bentham!

Progress Update, 23 to 29 January 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 29 January 2016

We’re here with a very exciting progress update for the period 23 to 29 January 2016.  Our hard-working transcribers have now transcribed over 15,000 manuscript pages!  This an extraordinary amount of work and we are deeply grateful to all the volunteers who take part in Transcribe Bentham.

15,062 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 84 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,115 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 10 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 159 427 37%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 226 581 38%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 742 865 85%
Box 117 368 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 537 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 75 381 19%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 779 858 90%
Add MS 35539 847 948 89%
Add MS 35540 908 1012 89%
Add MS 35541 659 1258 52%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 15,062 35,002 43%

Progress update, 16 to 22 January 2016

By Louise Seaward, on 22 January 2016

Hello and welcome to the transcription update for the period 16 to 22 January 2016.  Transcription continues at a good rate, thanks to our volunteers.

14,978 manuscript pages have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 59 on last week’s total.  Of these transcripts, 14,006 (93%) have been checked and approved by TB staff.

The more detailed progress chart is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 382 795 48%
Box 2 478 753 63%
Box 4 5 694 1%
Box 5 200 290 68%
Box 7 4 169 2%
Box 8 6 284 2%
Box 9 45 266 16%
Box 10 0 459 0%
Box 11 9 480 1%
Box 15 80 814 9%
Box 18 4 193 2%
Box 27 350 350 COMPLETE
Box 29 22 122 18%
Box 30 4 193 2%
Box 31 19 302 6%
Box 34 40 399 10%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 36 419 8%
Box 37 33 487 6%
Box 38 157 427 36%
Box 39 12 284 4%
Box 41 87 572 15%
Box 42 91 910 10%
Box 44 53 202 26%
Box 50 172 198 86%
Box 51 386 940 41%
Box 57 18 420 4%
Box 62 78 565 13%
Box 63 155 345 44%
Box 70 306 350 87%
Box 71 663 663 COMPLETE
Box 72 614 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 COMPLETE
Box 79 199 199 COMPLETE
Box 87 0 604 0%
Box 95 126 147 85%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 141 296 47%
Box 98 224 499 44%
Box 100 194 442 43%
Box 106 225 581 38%
Box 107 502 538 93%
Box 110 7 671 1%
Box 115 277 307 90%
Box 116 704 865 81%
Box 117 368 853 43%
Box 118 256 880 29%
Box 119 536 990 54%
Box 120 29 686 4%
Box 121 136 526 25%
Box 122 305 728 41%
Box 123 43 443 9%
Box 124 15 383 3%
Box 139 40 40 COMPLETE
Box 141 72 381 18%
Box 149 10 581 1%
Box 150 972 972 COMPLETE
Box 169 195 728 26%
Add MS 35537 730 744 98%
Add MS 35538 779 858 90%
Add MS 35539 834 948 87%
Add MS 35540 887 1012 87%
Add MS 35541 659 1258 52%
Add MS 35547 29 701 4%
Add MS 35549 2 366 1%
Add MS 35550  2 637 1%
Overall 14,978 35,002 42%

We would like to say thanks again to all the volunteers who have worked on Transcribe Bentham this week.