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).

Learn more

Network

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

Learn more

Research

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

Learn more

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.

Learn more

Recent Posts

+ Crowdsourcing with Transkribus at Amsterdam City Archives

When we work together, there’s so much we can achieve! Amsterdam City Archives and VeleHanden have just launched a fantastic crowdsourcing initiative which combines the power of our Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology with the talents of volunteer transcribers.

Image credit: Amsterdam City Archives

Amsterdam City Archives are interested in opening up access to the records of Amsterdam’s notaries, which span from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. These documents are ripe for further exploration for those interested in the rich social and economic history of the Dutch capital.  The ultimate aim is to create a fully searchable record of this precious handwritten collection.

The team have been working with our Transkribus platform to train HTR models to recognise different parts of this collection.

The HTR models were used to generate automated transcripts of the documents. It is now up to volunteers to correct any errors made by the machine!

The project is hosted on VeleHanden, a successful crowdsourcing platform created by the company PicturaeCrowd leert computer lezen is directly connected to the Transkribus web interface, meaning that any changes made by volunteers can be fed straight back into the system to improve the automated recognition.

Anyone can take part in this new project and explore various difficulty levels to find documents they are interested in.  Volunteers collect points for their transcription work which can be redeemed at exhibitions and events at Amsterdam City Archives.

We are really looking forward to seeing what the computer can learn from the crowd…

Mark Ponte from Amsterdam City Archives gave us a sneak peak of the project at our recent Transkribus User Conference

CORNELIS STAAL 1749-1753 – 1 – Beginner – 13131 – A31239000579. Screenshot from Crowd leert computer lezen. Image credit: Amsterdam City Archives.

+ 20,000 tremendous Transkribus users!

Our latest milestone has put a big smile on our faces – there are now over 20,000 registered users of our Transkribus platform for Handwritten Text Recognition! People are working with Transkribus across the globe, using it to train hundreds of models to recognise texts of diverse dates, languages and styles.

Across the course of the READ project, we have welcomed over 13,000 new users of the platform and created a formidable network of people interested in opening up access to historical documents. We look forward to continued growth as we move into our next phase with READ COOP.

Become part of our community! Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date with our latest news.