Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Progress update, 16 to 22 August 2014

By Tim Causer, on 23 August 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 16 to 22 August, which is both slightly late and truncated owing to our attendance at the 2014 International Society for Utilitarian Studies conference in Yokohama. Many apologies for the inconvenience.

We are delighted to say that transcription has continued at a fantastic rate, with 10,582 manuscripts now transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 167 on this time last week. This is tremendous work by TB volunteers, and ISUS delegates repeatedly told us how amazed they were by this progress. We will continue to spread the word in the coming days, as we give presentations on TB and tranScriptorium at universities in Tokyo.

Thanks you, as ever, to everyone who has given their time so generously to TB during the last seven days. We continue to work hard to clear the backlog of submitted transcripts, and hope you won’t mind bearing with us a little longer.

Join us for a focus group on Handwritten Text Recognition technology on 23 July

By Kris Grint, on 10 July 2014

We are looking for volunteers to attend a focus group to discuss the development of handwritten text recognition (HTR) software for UCL’s Transcribe Bentham crowdsourcing project.

In 2013, Transcribe Bentham joined the EU-funded research project tranScriptorium to investigate the potential application of HTR software to Bentham’s manuscripts, specifically within a crowdsourcing setting. This technology is now being integrated into a version of the Transcribe Bentham platform, and we are seeking participants for a small focus group to discuss this development. For a more in-depth look at the technology behind tranScriptorium, please see Professor Philip Schofield’s Guide for the Humanist.

The focus group will take place on Wednesday 23 July at 1pm at UCL’s main campus in Bloomsbury. It will last about 1 hour. There is no payment for participating in the focus group, but a sandwich lunch will be provided.

If you are interested in attending the focus group, or would like more details, please email Dr Kris Grint (k.grint@ucl.ac.uk) and include the following information:

– Name
– Institution (if applicable)
– Any dietary requirements

It would also be helpful if you could state whether you have any previous experience with Transcribe Bentham (e.g. you have visited the website or transcribed a manuscript). Please note it is not a prerequisite that members of the focus group have any previous experience.

Jeremy Bentham and the escaped convicts: an exhibition at UCL

By Tim Causer, on 16 June 2014

20140616_110854I’m delighted to announce that a new Bentham-related exhibition has just been installed here at UCL. This is based upon the Memorandoms of the transported convict, James Martin, and tells the story of how he, seven male convicts, one female prisoner, and two infant children, absconded from the recently-founded penal colony of New South Wales on the night of 28 March 1791. Martin and his fellows stole the colony’s six-oared cutter, sailed out of Port Jackson and over the next nine weeks navigated the eastern and northern coastlines of Australia, enduring ferocious storms, privation, and encounters with Aboriginal Australians. They eventually reached their destination of Kupang, West Timor, on 5 June 1791, where they successfully (for a while, at least) passed themselves off as the survivors of a shipwreck. This was an astonishing feat of seamanship and endurance, in surviving this journey of over five thousand kilometres in an open boat.

20140616_110903The exhibition introduces the prisoners and their incredible journey, and discusses Bentham’s interest in convict transportation, and why he was interested in acquiring Martin’s narrative. UCL is incredibly fortunate that the Memorandoms is part of its Special Collections: it is the only first-hand account of this famous escape, and is the only narrative written by a First Fleet convict.

A fully annotated edition of the Memorandoms was published earlier this year, and can be read free of charge online, or downloaded as PDF from UCL Discovery.

The exhibition will run until around mid-August, and can be found in UCL’s South Cloisters, next to Bentham’s auto-icon: simply follow the extracts from the manuscript on the floor to the opposite wall. For directions around the UCL campus, please consult this map.

This work has been generously supported by the UCL Faculty of Laws Research Environment and Impact Fund, for which I am extremely grateful. I would also like to thank the following for their help and assistance in seeing the exhibition to fruition:

  • Joey O’Gorman, the designer of the exhibition
  • Sussanah Chan, Exhibitions Manager, UCL Museums and Public Management
  • Professor Cheryl Thomas, UCL Laws Vice-Dean of Research
  • Nick Booth, Curator, UCL Teaching and Research Collections
  • Tatjana Wingender, UCL Laws
  • Raheel Nabi, UCL Creative Media Services
  • UCL Library Special Collections
  • and my colleagues at the Bentham Project

 

Progress update, 7 June to 13 June 2014: Record-breaking week for Transcribe Bentham

By Kris Grint, on 13 June 2014

It is my pleasure to announce that this week on Transcribe Bentham has seen the breaking of three records.

The first to report is that 9,164 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed since the project began. This is an outstanding achievement by our volunteers, not least because on 25 April 2014 the total surpassed 8,000, meaning over 1,000 transcripts have been added in just 7 weeks – the quickest ever.

Secondly, this week also saw the record for number of manuscripts transcribed smashed, with exactly 300 transcribed or partially-transcribed, eclipsing the previous record by 88.

Last but not least, our 2014 transcription rate, which is the average number of manuscripts transcribed per week, has topped 100 for the first time.

A hearty congratulations to all our transcribers who continue to amaze us with both the quantity and quality of their work.

Of the total 9,164 manuscripts that have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, 8,287 (90%) have been checked and approved by TB editorial staff. We are still working through a significant backlog of submitted transcripts which should be resolved by next week’s update.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 103 794 12%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 163 290 56%
Box 15 43 914 5%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 5 122 4%
Box 31 9 302 2%
Box 34 23 398 5%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 19 418 4%
Box 37 14 487 2%
Box 38 42 424 9%
Box 39 5 282 1%
Box 41 76 528 13%
Box 42 67 910 7%
Box 44 50 201 24%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 372 940 39%
Box 57 9 420 2%
Box 62 55 565 10%
Box 70 295 350 84%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 612 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 85 296 28%
Box 98 218 499 43%
Box 100 183 422 41%
Box 107 476 538 88%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 498 864 57%
Box 117 304 853 35%
Box 118 167 880 18%
Box 119 255 990 22%
Box 121 125 526 22%
Box 122 286 717 39%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 114 972 11%
Box 169 161 728 22%
Add MSS 537 498 744 66%
Add MSS 538 230 858 36%
Add MSS 539 354 948 37%
Overall 9,164 23,881 38%

 
Dr Michael Quinn, Senior Research Associate at the Bentham Project, is preparing the authoritative edition of Bentham’s economic writings for publication in the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Dr Quinn is currently working on manuscripts in boxes 1, 2 and 150. Boxes 1 and 2 contain Bentham’s ideas on political economy, whilst Box 150 focuses on preventive police (more specifically the Thames Police Bill, which Bentham drew up in conjunction with the magistrate, Patrick Colquhoun). Assistance from TB volunteers in completing the transcription of these three boxes would be gratefully received. Full acknowledgement in the resulting published volume will be given to the transcribers of manuscripts used.

Finally, on 1 July 2014, the TB editorial team will be running a focus-group at UCL discussing the application of handwritten text recognition technology to Bentham’s manuscripts. Any interested parties are warmly invited to attend, and lunch will be provided. For more details, please see this link or email k.grint@ucl.ac.uk.

Progress update, 31 May to 6 June 2014

By Kris Grint, on 6 June 2014

Welcome to the progress update for the period 31 May to 6 June. This has been another fantastic week for Transcribe Bentham, with volunteers transcribing or partially-transcribing 179 manuscripts. Whilst this is slightly down on last week’s record-topping 212 manuscripts, it’s more than adequate to keep our average weekly transcription rate for 2014 at just over 95 transcripts a week.

In total 8,864 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, of which 8,185 (92%) have been checked and approved by TB editorial staff. We must apologise for the continued delay to the checking of transcripts – we are working to restore the backlog and ask volunteers to continue to be patient whilst we approve their submitted transcripts.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 97 794 12%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 160 290 55%
Box 15 40 914 5%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 4 122 3%
Box 31 9 302 2%
Box 34 20 398 5%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 16 418 3%
Box 37 22 487 2%
Box 38 39 424 9%
Box 39 4 282 1%
Box 41 75 528 13%
Box 42 66 910 7%
Box 44 50 201 24%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 372 940 39%
Box 57 7 420 1%
Box 62 55 565 10%
Box 70 295 350 84%
Box 71 663 663 100%
Box 72 612 664 92%
Box 73 151 151 100%
Box 79 199 199 100%
Box 95 123 147 83%
Box 96 534 539 99%
Box 97 84 296 28%
Box 98 217 499 43%
Box 100 183 422 41%
Box 107 474 538 88%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 497 864 57%
Box 117 273 853 31%
Box 118 108 880 12%
Box 119 215 990 21%
Box 121 123 526 22%
Box 122 285 717 39%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 109 972 11%
Box 169 157 728 21%
Add MSS 537 443 744 59%
Add MSS 538 195 858 22%
Add MSS 539 307 948 32%
Overall 8,864 23,881 37%

 
All that remains is to thank to everyone who has so generously given their time and effort to Transcribe Bentham during the last week. Please keep up the excellent work!