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
The SS Great Britain trust accepted the challenge of deciphering Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s handwriting. Without technical help this had been a challenge. The team in charge discovered, that his handwriting was “almost impossible to read”. That’s where Transkribus came into play: even though the project-team only started to use Transkribs and the amount of training data wasn’t very high, useful results had already been achieved. Still there is a lot of work to do, as there are several thousand pages of Brunel’s handwriting.
“It’s hugely sped up the process and we’re learning new bits about his life; there’s so much potential to unlock”, says Nick Booth from the SS Great Britain trust. The SS Great Britain in Bristol is keeping the collection of material about the life and works of Brunel and tells the story of one of Britain’s greatest engineers and Brunel’s SS Great Britain, one of the most important historic ships in the maritime history.
The BBC news became aware of the project and published an article about it, which you can find here: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-bristol-49347472
More information about Brunel and the SS Great Britain can be found on this homepage: https://www.ssgreatbritain.org
The digitisation team around Liesbeth Keyser from the National Archives in the Netherlands is working hard on creating training data for their collections in order to prepare HTR processing on a large scale. As a first result a model based on 475.769 words is now made available for Transkribus users. The model shows a Character Error Rate of 7.48% on the training set and 6.15% on the validation set. It is based on the careful transcription of dozens of different handwritings and comprises scans from the Incoming Documents from the Dutch East India Company (Overgekomen Brieven en Papieren van de VOC) of the National Archives of the Netherlands and of 19th century Notarial deeds from the Noord-Hollands archief. The model is named: NAN/NHA_GT_M3+ Enjoy!