Wednesday, 21 September 2016

LAC and the Results of the Coltman Project

Recently LAC experimented with a crowdsource transcription project using 534 page images of The Coltman Report, 1818–Inquiry into the Offences Committed at the Battle of Seven Oaks. 
Those who tried transcription found it fairly easy, the project was completed quickly. What was LAC's experience with the project, what lessons were learned? Will there be further transcription projects?

I spoke to Melanie Brown, the manager responsible for this and some other digitization initiatives at LAC.  She commented that the Coltman project was completed in three weeks, much more quickly than anticipated, especially given it was during the summer. As transcribers were anonymous she wanted me to pass along thanks to those who helped, including those who heard about the project through this blog.

Two people at LAC are in the final stages of verifying the transcriptions and a top priority now, following an evaluation meeting, will be to get the project transcription online and searchable without delay.

Other fonds are being considered from crowdsource transcription, one early item being the 100 page diary of Susan Agnes, second wife of Prime Minister John A. Macdonald. Would that be a good choice?

LAC hope to use the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to similarly crowdsource transcribe other archival material for prominent Canadians.

Transcription initiatives at NARA and of the Royal BC Museum provided models that LAC learned from in initiating the Coltman project. If you're anxious to participate in further Canadian transcription immediately you may be interested in the Royal BC Museum current projects.
Reverend Robert J. Roberts Journals and DiariesInquests and Inquiries relating to Chinese CanadiansJournals and DiariesFirst World War Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks
Look for an announcement this November of a major new LAC digitization initiative.

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