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
Firstly, a Transkribus workshop will take place at the University of Zürich in October 2016. Due to high levels of interest, the workshop will be held twice – on 20 and 21 October. The Transkribus software, as well as other tools being developed by the READ project, will be presented. Participants will have the chance to work with their own documents and see what Transkribus is capable of regarding transcriptions and editions.
Second, on 10 November 2016, eight speakers will introduce tools used for digital scholarly editing to a public audience at the University of Zürich. A keynote speech will be delivered by Tobias Grüning from the University of Rostock who will explain how recurrent neural networks are being used in READ for Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). There will also be talks about other digital editing tools and projects including ChartEX, histhub, corpus corporum, e-Manuscripta and TUSTEP.
Passau Diocesan Archives took on the task of hosting the latest READ project meeting between 20 and 22 September 2016. Over 30 individuals from the 14 READ project partners met together in the pretty town of Passau in Southern Germany to discuss the current and future progress of our research into the Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) of historical documents.
The first part of our meeting took the form of a public symposium before an audience of German archivists and researchers. To see what went on, check out this short video from Passau Diocesan Archives where staff from the archive talk about the conference and their participation in READ. The video is in German but non-speakers can scroll down to find out more about the symposium and the READ project meeting.
As the keynote speaker, Gerhard Fürmetz, director of the Bavarian State Archives used his presentation to show how digitisation has changed the way archives work.Digitisation and Digital Preservation Group (DEA) at the University of Innsbruck presented on READ and the Transkribus transcription platform. His talk described how archives can access Transkribus and outlined the way in which Handwritten Text Recognition engines produce automatic transcriptions of handwritten material. Dr Florian Kleber from the Computer Vision Lab at Vienna University of Technology demonstrated how the READ project is working with large and varied datasets of transcribed historical material. Dr Kleber also explained that research competitions play a vital role in enabling computer scientists to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of their tools. Table Recognition tool which will make it easier for Transkribus users to transcribe text in tables.
In the evening we were treated to a walking tour of Passau and a look behind at the scenes at the new building of the Diocesan Archives. It has been built on stilts to shield precious documents from any flooding from the town’s three rivers and the floor has been painted a liturgical shade of purple!We concluded proceedings on our last day with some SWOT analysis – what are the strengths and weaknesses of the READ project? What might be its opportunities and threats? After some fruitful discussion, there was just enough time for a group picture before we parted ways! Thank you Passau! If you want to find out more about our meeting, take a look back at our twitter feed. We look forward to continuing the discussions at our next project meeting in Brussels!