Ready, Steady, Transcribe!
Launching the Transcribathon in Riga
From 7 November to 9 November 2016, the first international Transcribathon challenge took place at the Latvian National Library in Riga. The event was held during the course of the 2016 Europeana Network Annual General Meeting (AGM). Nine teams from across Europe put their transcribing skills to the test and presented their results to an international jury.
The teams were given 48 hours to transcribe a chosen source, and were judged for the transcription quality and quantity, as well as their presentations. After careful deliberation, the High Jury, composed of Stephan Bull, Mia Ridge and Harry Verwayen, awarded prizes to the best teams in the categories of Transcription and Presentation.
Winners in the category Transcription was the team Latvian University. Within two days, the three history students, Anna-Anita Cirule, Vineta Blitsone and Anastasija Smirnova, each reached the coveted rank of Champion. The team transcribed altogether more than 100,000 characters of the Diary of Ansis Stradnieks. The first prize for Presentation was awarded to the French team, Marie-Véronique Leroi and Elisabeth Freyre, who presented an illuminating insight to the Love Letters of Pierre Fort and Denise Brüller. Congratulations to the winning teams and all participants!
Members of the Europeana network were also treated to a decoding game during the proceedings of the AGM. On 9 November, Frank Drauschke and Ad Pollé launched the website and transcription tool during their Ignite Talk. The presentation invited the audience to decipher six handwritten codewords from documents in six different languages. Put together, single letters from the codewords spelled out LAUNCH.
The events in Riga signalled the beginning of the online Transcribathon, an ongoing challenge to transcribe and annotate the digital documents of Europeana 1914-1918.
The website is now fully active and everyone is invited to join the race!