Archive for February, 2014

Progress update, 22 to 28 February 2014

By Tim Causer, on 28 February 2014

Welcome to the progress update for the period 22 to 28 February, during which time volunteers have not just broken the 7,000-transcript barrier, but smashed through it at a rate of knots. 17,888 words of Bentham text have been transcribed during the last seven days, along with a further 7,504 words of TEI-XML.

7,060 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 71 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 6,734 (95%) are complete and locked after passing our checking process, up 75 since the last progress report.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

JB/117/035/003

JB/117/035/003

A number of interesting items were transcribed during the last week. They range from Bentham stating that ‘I live in the ground unknown to every body but the Postman in order to be out of the way of every sort of interruption‘, which presumably allowed him to write so much. Bentham also permitted himself to blow his own trumpet a little in stating that he was ‘A man of responsible circumstances, of unexceptionable character, of liberal education … not altogether unknown in the literary world‘, and who had devoted ‘himself exclusively to the service of mankind’. (thanks to David Kaminski for transcribing those two manuscripts). Elsewhere, Peter Hollis transcribed a letter from Bentham to Sir John Parnell, then Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland, describing a potential image for the frontispiece to his panopticon writings as ‘a great gogle eye with rays round it, over the plan of my Panopticon’.

Readers may also be interested in an article written by our colleague Dr Michael Quinn, discussing the recently published latest volume of Bentham’s Collected Works, Of Sexual Irregularities, and Other Writings on Sexual Morality, which was earlier this week made available on The Conversation website.

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham over the last few days. It is as greatly appreciated as ever.

 

 

 

Progress update, 15 to 21 February 2014

By Tim Causer, on 21 February 2014

Welcome to the progress update for the period 15 to 21 February, during which time superb progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. 14,133 words of Bentham text have been transcribed this week, along with a further 5,211 words of TEI XML.

We didn’t quite make it to 7,000 transcripts this week, but came mightily close! 6,991 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, up 65 on last week. Of these transcripts, 6,659 are complete and have been locked, which is an increase of 51 on last week’s total.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

As you can see, five of the uploaded boxes have been completed, and boxes 70, 72, 95, 96, 107, and 115 are the others closes to completion. During the last week we have also uploaded a further 1,696 manuscript images: boxes 33 and 36 contain manuscripts pertaining to Bentham’s Constitutional Code, while Box 118 contains more panopticon material, including Bentham’s fruitless attempts to find a site for his penitentiary. We will write more about this new material next week, and more and more images to transcribe will be added in the forthcoming weeks.

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days, your efforts remain as greatly appreciated as ever.

Progress update, 8 to 14 February 2014

By Tim Causer, on 14 February 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 25 January to 7 February, during which time further steady progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. 6,021 words of Bentham text have been transcribed this week, along with a further 2,554 words of TEI XML.

6,924 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 34 on this time last week. This means that we are only 76 more transcripts away from having our 7,000th transcript in hand, which is a tremendous achievement on the part of volunteer transcribers. Of these transcripts, 6,608 (95%) have passed our quality-control procedures and have been locked, up 31 on the last progress update.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Elsewhere in the world of Transcribe Bentham, a new article on how discoveries made by volunteer transcribers could help shape future avenues for research is now available for download, and a Handwritten Text Recognition contest, based on data from the tranScriptorium project (and featuring 433 Bentham manuscripts) is to be launched in the next few days.

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has given their time and effort so generously to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days, it remains as greatly appreciated as ever.

New Transcribe Bentham publication

By Tim Causer, on 13 February 2014

A pre-publication version of a new publication about Transcribe Bentham, by Dr Tim Causer and Professor Melissa Terras, is now available for downloading from UCL Discovery. ‘Crowdsourcing Bentham: beyond the traditional boundaries of academic history‘ discusses Transcribe Bentham‘s potential impact on the work of the Bentham Project and the ongoing production of the new critical edition of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. It also explores how, excitingly, volunteers can make a genuine contribution to humanities research by making discoveries with the potential for clarifying and widening understanding of certain aspects of Bentham’s thought, and examines material transcribed by volunteers dealing with the subjects of political economy, animal welfare, and convict transportation and the history of early New South Wales.

This is a pre-publication version of an article which will be published in April in a special issue of the International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, an Edinburgh University Press journal, and we appreciate EUP allowing us to make this version of the paper available for all.

 

 

tranScriptorium: Handwritten Text Recognition competition opens 16 February!

By Tim Causer, on 13 February 2014

We are delighted to announce that the Handwritten Text Recognition on the tranScriptorium dataset competition, organised by the Pattern Recognition and Human Language Technologies research centre at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia opens for entries on 16 February. This contest is part of the 2014 International Conference on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition, and involves working with a dataset of 433 Bentham manuscripts, with accompanying ground truth in PAGE XML format, preprocessed line images and their corresponding transcripts.

For more details on how to participate, please visit the competition website. Watch out for announcements of further competitions utilising Bentham manuscripts!

tranScriptorium is an FP7-funded consortium, led by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, and including the University of Innsbruck, the National Centre for Scientific Research (Demokritos) in Greece, UCL, the Institute for Dutch Lexicology, and the University of London Computer Centre. The project aims to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for the indexing, searching, and full transcription of historical manuscript images, using Handwritten Text Recognition technology. For more details, please visit the project website, the Facebook page, or follow the project’s Twitter account.