Archive for the 'Transcription' Category

10,000 up!

By Tim Causer, on 22 July 2014

When Transcribe Bentham was launched to the public in early September 2010, we had little idea of just how successful the initiative was going to be. It was something of an experiment, and a shot in the dark: would anyone really want to transcribe Bentham’s manuscripts (and encode them in TEI XML) when they are often so infuriatingly complex, both in terms of content and composition?

Yet here we are, almost four years later, and our wonderful volunteer transcribers have just worked on their 10,000th transcript. This is a truly amazing achievement on their part, and the amount of work volunteers have put into the initiative should not be underestimated. Transcribing Bentham is a far from easy task (as we know only too well!), but the care and attention taken by transcribers never ceases to impress us: 92% of these 10,000 transcripts have been approved after checking.

We never thought that we would reach this milestone just so soon. By late March this year, volunteers had worked on an impressive 7,369 transcripts, but since then the transcription rate has exploded, and we have received what is usually a year’s worth of transcription in four months: volunteers have worked on an average of 157 transcripts per week. If that rate of transcription was maintained, then the remaining untranscribed portion of Bentham’s manuscripts could be transcribed in just over a decade – a prospect which was unthinkable only four years ago, and which is only possible thanks to collaboration with volunteer transcribers.

The success of Transcribe Bentham is owed fundamentally to our volunteers; without them, the project would be nothing. The Transcribe Bentham team at UCL, the University of London Computer Centre, and the British Library, are all hugely grateful to transcribers for their efforts, and for so generously giving their time to spend with this philosophically and historically important collection of manuscripts. We are more than a little humbled by their participation.

We would like to publicly celebrate everyone who has taken part in Transcribe Bentham at some point, and an alphabetical list of transcribers can now be found in the Hall of Fame. We are particularly grateful to our fantastic regular contributors who routinely produce such high-quality work for the initiative, and at ever increasing rates. These transcripts are now being uploaded to UCL’s digital Bentham Papers repository, and will be used in the future production of volumes of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Volunteer efforts will thus make a material difference to scholarship, and increased access to the material.

If you would like to join the ranks of Transcribe Bentham volunteers and help widen access to the Bentham Papers, you can sign up for a volunteer account at the Transcription Desk.

We’re off to break the news to Uncle Jeremy. Don’t worry, we won’t get him too excited: he is 266 years old, after all.

Thanks once more to all Transcribe Bentham volunteers, and to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous funding of the project. Here’s to the next 10,000 transcripts, and beyond!

 

 

Progress update, 12 to 18 July 2014

By Tim Causer, on 18 July 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 12 to 18 July 2014, during which time further tremendous progress has been made by volunteers: the 10,000th transcript will be edited next week! We continue to make headway into the backlog of transcripts and once again thank everyone for their patience.

9,934 transcripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is 126 up on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 9,168 (92%) have been checked and approved by TB editors.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 153 794 19%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 168 290 57%
Box 15 56 914 6%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 13 122 10%
Box 31 12 302 3%
Box 34 33 398 8%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 25 418 5%
Box 37 20 487 4%
Box 38 49 424 11%
Box 39 8 282 2%
Box 41 77 528 13%
Box 42 69 910 7%
Box 44 52 201 25%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 373 940 39%
Box 57 14 420 3%
Box 62 55 565 9%
Box 70 298 350 85%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 115 296 38%
Box 98 219 499 43%
Box 100 188 422 42%
Box 107 485 538 90%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 499 864 57%
Box 117 338 853 39%
Box 118 212 880 24%
Box 119 347 990 35%
Box 121 130 526 23%
Box 122 292 717 40%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 181 972 18%
Box 169 176 728 24%
Add MSS 537 562 744 75%
Add MSS 538 368 858 42%
Add MSS 539 395 948 41%
Add MSS 541 91 1258 7%
Overall 9,934 25,139 40%

You can read about the love lives of Jeremiah and Jeremy Bentham – some of the material which volunteers have transcribed – via the British Library’s Untold Lives blog.

As mentioned elsewhere on the blog, on 23 July we will be hosting a focus-group on Handwritten Text Recognition software, and its implementation into a crowdsourcing platform. If you would be interested in coming along, please email Dr Kris Grint (k.grint@ucl.ac.uk), with your name, institution (if applicable), and any dietary requirements (as lunch will be provided).

Thank you, as ever, to TB‘s fantastic volunteers for all their contributions during the last week. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever. We look forward to marking the auspicious occasion of our 10,000th transcript next week!

 

Progress update, 5 to 11 July 2014

By Tim Causer, on 11 July 2014

Welcome along to the TB progress update for the period 5 to 11 July 2014, during which time further superb progress has been made by volunteers: we are now almost within touching distance of receiving our 10,000th edited transcript, and at the current rate, this amazing milestone will be reached within two weeks. We have also made excellent headway into the backlog of transcripts, and thanks once again for bearing with us while we work through them.

9,808 transcripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is up 134 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 9,008 (92%) have been checked and approved by TB editors.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 139 794 17%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 167 290 57%
Box 15 55 914 6%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 12 122 9%
Box 31 12 302 3%
Box 34 31 398 7%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 23 418 5%
Box 37 19 487 3%
Box 38 48 424 11%
Box 39 8 282 2%
Box 41 77 528 13%
Box 42 69 910 7%
Box 44 52 201 25%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 373 940 39%
Box 57 14 420 3%
Box 62 55 565 9%
Box 70 298 350 85%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 114 296 38%
Box 98 218 499 43%
Box 100 188 422 42%
Box 107 483 538 89%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 499 864 57%
Box 117 331 853 38%
Box 118 210 880 23%
Box 119 332 990 33%
Box 121 129 526 23%
Box 122 291 717 39%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 167 972 17%
Box 169 173 728 23%
Add MSS 537 549 744 73%
Add MSS 538 357 858 41%
Add MSS 539 390 948 41%
Add MSS 541 64 1258 5%
Overall 9,808 25,139 40%

As mentioned elsewhere on the blog, on 23 July we will be hosting a focus-group on Handwritten Text Recognition software, and its implementation into a crowdsourcing platform. If you would be interested in coming along, please email Dr Kris Grint (k.grint@ucl.ac.uk), with your name, institution (if applicable), and any dietary requirements (as lunch will be provided).

Thank you, as always, to TB‘s fantastic volunteers for all their contributions during the last week. It remains as greatly appreciated as ever.

Progress update, 28 June to 4 July 2014

By Tim Causer, on 4 July 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 28 June to 4 July, during which time TB volunteers have continued to make phenomenal progress.

9,674 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 119 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 8,895 (92%)are now complete and have been approved, up 256 on this time last week. We continue to close in on the 10,000th edited transcript, and are continuing to thin down the backlog of submitted transcripts – thanks again to all volunteers for bearing with us while we work through them.
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 126 794 15%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 167 290 57%
Box 15 53 914 6%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 12 122 9%
Box 31 11 302 3%
Box 34 29 398 7%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 21 418 2%
Box 37 16 487 3%
Box 38 47 424 11%
Box 39 8 282 2%
Box 41 77 528 13%
Box 42 69 910 7%
Box 44 52 201 25%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 373 940 39%
Box 57 13 420 3%
Box 62 55 565 9%
Box 70 298 350 85%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 537 539 99%
Box 97 113 296 38%
Box 98 218 499 43%
Box 100 188 422 42%
Box 107 481 538 89%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 499 864 57%
Box 117 329 853 38%
Box 118 204 880 23%
Box 119 321 990 23%
Box 121 129 526 23%
Box 122 289 717 39%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 163 972 16%
Box 169 170 728 23%
Add MSS 537 546 744 73%
Add MSS 538 327 858 38%
Add MSS 539 386 948 40%
Add MSS 541 20 1258 1%
Overall 9,674 25,139 40%

This week, another batch of the British Library’s Bentham manuscripts were uploaded to the Transcription Desk, this time containing Bentham family correspondence for the period 1789 to 1794.  This time was dominated by the start of Bentham’s attempts to have his panopticon prison built, though elsewhere he wrote about the events of the French Revolution, and produced perhaps his most well-known work, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. You can read a fuller description of this material, and access the other available British Library manuscripts as well. Another batch will follow shortly, which will feature Jeremy’s long and dangerous journey to Russia to visit his brother, Samuel. (Thanks to our colleagues at the Digital Archives group of the University of London Computer Centre for getting this material uploaded). We hope that you enjoy exploring these manuscripts!

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has given their time so generously to TB during the past week. It remains as greatly appreciated as always.

Progress update, 21 to 27 June 2014

By Tim Causer, on 27 June 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 21 to 27 June 2014, which has been another mammoth week of transcription – the second busiest week, in fact, in TB history! Thank you to all who’ve contributed this week, and for continuing to bear with us while we work through our backlog of transcripts – we’re getting there.

9,555 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 227 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 8,639 (90%) are now locked after being checked by TB editors. The completion percentage should increase in the next couple of weeks when we catch up with transcripts which need to be checked.
The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 114 794 14%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 166 290 57%
Box 15 51 914 6%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 12 122 9%
Box 31 11 302 3%
Box 34 29 398 7%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 21 418 5%
Box 37 15 487 3%
Box 38 47 424 11%
Box 39 6 282 2%
Box 41 77 528 13%
Box 42 69 910 7%
Box 44 51 201 25%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 372 940 39%
Box 57 12 420 2%
Box 62 55 565 10%
Box 70 298 350 85%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 613 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 111 296 37%
Box 98 218 499 43%
Box 100 188 422 42%
Box 107 481 538 89%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 499 864 57%
Box 117 325 853 38%
Box 118 195 880 22%
Box 119 316 990 31%
Box 121 129 526 23%
Box 122 288 717 39%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 112 972 15%
Box 169 169 728 23%
Add MSS 537 544 744 73%
Add MSS 538 303 858 35%
Add MSS 539 376 948 39%
Overall 9,555 23,881 40%

At the current rate of transcription, the 10,000th transcript should be worked on in the next two or three weeks. We never imagined, when first conceiving of TB, that this figure would be reached so soon. It will certainly be a cause for celebration!

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed to TB during the past seven days. It is as greatly appreciated as ever.