Hi Eric,

Both From the Page and DIY History are great resources for crowdsourcing 
transcriptions, yes, and Ben Brumfield is a great help and a great guy. 
There are also plugins for crowdsourcing transcriptions: Scripto 
(available at is a free open source plugin based on 
MediaWiki that has versions for many common CMSes. That being said, 
Scripto can be a bit technically difficult to set up (and does require a 
MediaWiki installation) and a bit hard to use. Still: free! Open source!

A group I was working with at Virginia Tech is developing a new 
crowdsourcing plugin for Omeka called "Incite": they use it on the 
"Mapping the Fourth of July" project at It hasn't been released to the 
community yet, and it's still lacking some features (notably, a way for 
others to review and revise transcriptions), but if you're interested in 
trying it you could contact Kurt Luther at Virginia Tech.

I will say that it's usually not so simple as putting up the documents 
and letting people transcribe them: there's a fair amount of publicity 
and community management that has to happen before things get 
transcribed. Two really effective strategies in the absence of a 
dedicated transcription community manager are 1) to hold 
"transcribathon" events, and 2) to partner with teachers who'll ask 
their students to do transcriptions as class exercises. Transcribing 
documents is always a fantastic thing for students to do: it sparks 
their interest and gets them to really engage with primary sources in a 
way they rarely get to do.

Cheers, and good luck!


Amanda French
Twitter: @amandafrench
Skype: amandafrenchphd
Cell: 720-530-7515

On 5/25/17 11:00 PM, CODE4LIB automatic digest system wrote:
> ------------------------------
> Date:    Thu, 25 May 2017 16:21:58 -0400
> From:    Eric Lease Morgan<[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: crowdsourcing transcriptions
> Does anybody here have knowledge or experience regarding crowdsourcing transcription services?
> Some of my day-to-day work revolves around a thing affectionately called the Catholic Portal. [1] The Portal is an alliance of members who provide access to rare an infrequently held materials of a Catholic nature. Many of our member organizations are tiny, really tiny, and consequently they do not have very many fiscal resources. On the other hand, they are very rich is primary source materials. As these materials get digitized, there is a need/desire to transcribe them. (OCR will not be an option.)
> I was wondering, do any of you know of any services supporting the crowdsources of transcriptions, or maybe there is a piece of (open source) software allowing me to publicize things to transcribed, and then allowing somebody to actually do the work?
> [1] Portal -
> —
> Eric Morgan