READ revolutionizes access to handwritten documents

From the Middle Ages to today, from old Greek to modern English, from running text to tables or forms

About

READ's mission is to revolutionize access to archival documents with the support of cutting-edge technology such as Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) and Keyword Spotting (KWS).

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Network

READ addresses archives and libraries, humanities scholars, family historians, volunteers - and computer scientists

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Research

Research in READ comprises exciting fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing.

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Services

READ technology is available via the service platform Transkribus. Upload documents, train a Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) model, process text and follow the progress of the project.

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Recent Posts

+ Birth of the First Republic: Recognising Austrian Parliamentary papers

After the tumult of World War One, the First Austrian Republic was declared in September 1919. Nearly 100 years later, the Austrian Parliamentary Directorate are making documents from this crucial period of national history available online.

They have recently digitised 9000 parliamentary papers from the First Republic and are working with our Transkribus platform to provide the fully-searchable text of this collection.

Document from the Meeting of the Provisional National Assembly on 6 February 1919. Image credit: L1.5 Kompetenzzentrum, Parlamentsdirektion.

These parliamentary documents contain both handwritten and printed text (using the Fraktur font of Latin calligraphy).

5000 pages of the collection have now been processed in Transkribus with a mixture of Handwritten Text Recognition and our ABBYY FineReader OCR engine. 3,500 of these pages were then manually checked to ensure the accuracy of the recognised words.  Keywords have been captured and assigned to documents, allowing for further search options.  The next task is to record the titles and metadata of the documents to enhance their usefulness.

+ Learn how to read historical handwriting with Transkribus Learn

We’re sure many people know how challenging it can be to read historical manuscripts. Our new e-learning website, Transkribus LEARN  is here to help! Transkribus LEARN does not replace systematic paleography training but it allows users to practice reading and transcribing individual words, learning as they go.

Learners can practice on a computer or mobile phone and check their learning progress.

Transkribus LEARN has two transcription modes – ‘Study’ and ‘Test’. In the former, users can guess and then reveal the transcription of individual words in a manuscript. In the latter, users will be prompted to transcribe the missing word in a series of examples. At the end, a score is received, along with a list of correct and incorrect answers. Users can keep studying and testing themselves, as often as they like.

Screenshot from Transkribus Learn. Sütterlin script from a 1926 Austrian recipe book.

Levels of difficulty vary from simple, computer-generated cursive scripts to challenging historical documents in various languages and of different time periods. Users can also upload their own documents to the platform as a training exercise for students or volunteers.

To try it out:

Happy learning one and all! We welcome any feedback at: learn@transkribus.eu