Progress update, 19 to 25 July 2014

By Tim Causer, on 25 July 2014

Welcome along to the progress update for the period 19 to 25 July 2014, during which time Transcribe Bentham volunteers worked on their 10,000th transcript! This phenomenal achievement has also been recognised in a story from UCL News and, at the time of writing, is on the UCL website’s front page. We have nothing but gratitude and admiration for the work of TB volunteers!

10,079 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is 145 up on last week. Of these transcripts, 9,277 (92%) have been checked and approved by TB staff, an increase of 109 on this time last week.

The more detailed state of progress is follows:

 

Box No. of manuscripts worked on No. of manuscripts in box Completion
Box 1 166 794 19%
Box 2 465 753 61%
Box 5 169 290 57%
Box 15 60 914 6%
Box 18 2 192 1%
Box 27 350 350 100%
Box 29 14 122 10%
Box 30 0 193 0%
Box 31 14 302 3%
Box 34 34 398 8%
Box 35 286 439 65%
Box 36 25 418 5%
Box 37 22 487 4%
Box 38 52 424 11%
Box 39 8 282 2%
Box 41 80 528 13%
Box 42 69 910 7%
Box 44 52 201 25%
Box 50 159 198 79%
Box 51 373 940 39%
Box 57 16 420 3%
Box 62 55 565 9%
Box 63 5 345 1%
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 100 189 422 42%
Box 107 489 538 90%
Box 115 276 307 89%
Box 116 499 864 57%
Box 117 342 853 39%
Box 118 218 880 24%
Box 119 356 990 35%
Box 121 130 526 23%
Box 122 294 717 40%
Box 139 40 40 100%
Box 150 190 972 18%
Box 169 178 728 24%
Add MSS 537 583 744 75%
Add MSS 538 386 858 42%
Add MSS 539 398 948 41%
Add MSS 541 120 1258 7%
Overall 10,076 25,667 39%

One of the aims of Transcribe Bentham is to contribute to the production of future volumes of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. This is a long-term goal, but this week we came across a tangible example of how the work of transcribers is assisting in the Bentham Project‘s research.

Our colleague Dr Michael Quinn is currently editing Bentham’s writings on political economy. Box 107 of the Bentham Papers largely contains material relating to the panopticon, but yesterday Dr Quinn’s attention was directed to a sheet and entitled ‘Polit. Economy’, which we weren’t previously aware of and which has obviously become estranged from the larger body of economics manuscripts found, for example, in boxes 1, 2 and 5. This sheet – folio 23 of Box 107, and transcribed to an extremely high standard by volunteer Lea Stern – is of material assistance in assessing with some confidence when Bentham was thinking about the issuance of paper money, and working on particular texts.

As ever, we end with a thanks to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. But with the initiative hitting the milestone of 10,000 transcripts, we would also of course like to register our deep gratitude to all who have taken part in the project over the last four years. You can see a list of those users in the newly-instituted TB Hall of Fame, which we will periodically update. Here’s to the next 10,000 transcripts, and beyond!

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.

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.