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AHA Session of the Week

by on December 1, 2011

We’re glad to see that the AHA Blog selected Crowdsourcing History as Session of the Week for November 30, 2011. Here’s what they had to say:

At this year’s 126th annual meeting, AHA session 138, Crowdsourcing History: Collaborative Online Transcription and Archives, will feature five-minute “lightning talks” by nine scholar-technologists who are studying and working on crowdsourcing projects. This session is part of the larger “The Future Is Here: Digital Methods in Research and Teaching in History” series of digital history sessions at the upcoming annual meeting.

The age-old wisdom that “many hands make light work” is the core of the recent crowdsourcing phenomenon. Instead of relying on a few individuals to complete a project, crowdsourcing turns to the power of the masses.

For example, the University of Iowa Libraries wanted to transcribe Civil War diaries from a recent collection, to make them easier to read and search online. Transcribing can be an expensive and time-consuming task, so the university turned to volunteers on the Internet, large numbers of people who were willing to transcribe a few pages each. By crowdsourcing the transcription project it was completed more quickly and less expensively than it would if the university’s small staff had been put to the task.

This year’s annual meeting features a lot more digital history content than in previous years, and we’re excited to be participating. We hope to see you in Chicago!

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