Immerse yourself in Europe’s rich cultural heritage and make your own contribution to its digital footprints.
Join the Transcribathon race to transcribe, annotate and georeference digitised content from Europeana Collections.
Europeana Transcribe is an online crowdsourcing platform for the enrichment of European digital cultural heritage. Our goal is to engage the public in transcribing and annotating Europeana’s vast collection of digitised items, amassed from libraries, archives and museums from all across Europe. Many of these items, especially those containing handwritten text, hold a treasure trove of hidden information, not yet displayed in the metadata and therefore not readily discernible nor searchable. With your help in transforming this digital heritage—by transcribing the text, annotating the contents and adding valuable descriptions—they can become rich and powerful sources of information. The data can then be sent back to Europeana Collections and become easily read, searched, and categorised to the benefit of the wider public.
Why Take Part?
By enriching digitised heritage material, crowdsourcers can transform their data into useful digital resources. Creating machine-readable enrichments opens up new possibilities for the analysis, distribution and reuse of that material. Your transcription and annotation work is imperative to the improvement and preservation of this important heritage, allowing their contents to be read, searched and used for years to come.
Make a meaningful contribution
Every single contribution, any tiny enrichment or transcription, has an instant effect that benefits not only the Transcribathon community, but also the wider public. Each involvement generates a significant and positive change not only for the contributor, but also for European society. Your work will help to enrich the knowledge of our shared European histories, experiences and lives, and open this knowledge up for further use in sectors such as research and education.
Broaden your knowledge
With each document, image or object you read, transcribe and annotate, you not only enrich the data, but also unlock multiple possibilities for personal enrichment. You can gain a deeper understanding of European heritage material, allowing you to discover new stories, connect on a personal level to European history and become fully immersed in the lives of those who helped shape it. Enriching Europeana also enables you to improve your linguistic skills, such as through deciphering old and unusual writing styles and practicing your foreign language skills. Additionally, the competitive aspect allows you to show off these skills, become recognised for your work, and compete either individually or in teams to become a top transcriber.
Support digital inclusion
Information that was previously only available in image formats can now be turned into text and rich data. Transcription and enrichment open up new possibilities for digital inclusion, enabling the text and data to be translated and automatically converted to audio, tactile graphics and braille.
Featured Runs, Competitions and Events
In order to showcase the rich and fascinating content of Europeana Collections, a variety of Online Thematic Runs regularly take place on Transcribathon based on selected content. Themed runs are permanent and regularly updated, with new documents being added on a constant basis to keep you busy!
Aside from these thematic runs, you can also take part in special Online Competitive Runs. These challenges only take place for a limited period of time and those who have transcribed the most miles during the competition timeframe are awarded virtual Champion Cups and real prizes!
Special Transcribathon Events are also regularly held in cities across Europe. Like competitions, they are time-limited and winners receive prizes. Participants attending the events transcribe in teams and present their results to a jury. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements of new events in your city!
Enriching Europeana through citizen science and artificial intelligence - Unlocking the 19th Century
Building upon the results of the EnrichEuropeana project (2018-2020), EnrichEuropeana+ (2021-2022) combines citizen science and artificial intelligence to unlock handwritten documents from the 19th Century and make them available to researchers, students, amateur historians and the public. There is a wealth of information about 19th century history laying mostly dormant in archives. Most of the original sources are available only in handwritten form and because of that cannot be accessed on a large scale. In order to solve this problem the project digitises important handwritten documents, and uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence, such as Handwritten Text Recognition technology created by H2020 Project READ (2016-2019), and contributions from members of the public acting as ‘Citizen Scientists’, to transcribe these handwritten documents. The project also involves applying natural language processing and big data analysis technology to analyse transcriptions and their translations, providing support for semantic metadata enrichment, clustering and classification. What previously would have taken days and days to decipher is now readable in a matter of minutes, saving researchers valuable time and unlocking our history.