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
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.
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.
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.
Levels of difficulty vary from simple, computer-generated cursive scripts to challenging historical documents in various languages and of different time periods.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:
- Register for a free Transkribus account
- Login at Transkribus Learn (works on web or mobile)
- Explore the site and choose a document to practice on
Happy learning one and all! We welcome any feedback at: firstname.lastname@example.org