Friday, 27 April 2018

Library and Archives Canada Introduces Co-Lab

Co-Lab is the next step for LAC's crowdsourcing transcription, and more. Pilot projects in 2016 and 2017 were completed in a timely manner—enough to encourage LAC to move on to this larger scale initiative.
Go to for an introduction and 17 step tutorial on how to use the system.

There are presently 4 collections for transcription, translation, tagging and description.

In English
Rosemary Gilliat (Eaton)’s Arctic diary and photographs
2% complete
Correspondence between Sir Robert Borden and Sir Sam Hughes
26% complete

In French
New France and Indigenous relations
0% complete
Letters from Wilfrid Laurier to Zoé Lafontaine/Laurier
24% complete

My impression a week after launch is that Co-Lab is off to a slow start. That's not bad as bugs can be worked out without inconveniencing too many people.
Asking for transcription, translation, tagging and description may be too much all at once.  The previous projects were just transcription. We'll see.


Anonymous said...

I noticed that the percentages listed as complete are not really accurate since most of the transcriptions are complete or only needs a review. However, I assume the percentage also include the tagging, description, and translation, although these don't seem popular so far.

On a positive note, I like how you can contribute to any other digitized records on the LAC website, not just the challenges currently in Co-Lab. This is great for researchers!

Anonymous said...

By the time that I had a chance to look at the Borden letters that were featured they had all been transcribed, though the description indicated that the work was only 25% completed. This presumably referred to translation, tagging and description, which was not yet done.. As I recall the Borden Papers were indexed fifty years ago, and I do not understand the need to duplicate the process. I think the same applies to the Laurier Papers. As for providing a description of the items, the description given with the Challenge seem quite adequate. It would perhaps be a good idea to make the transcriptions available as they are completed, and make translation a separate challenge.