State Library of Queensland’s new digital volunteer project “Pitch In!” is looking for all those interested in history to help us prepare for the World War One Centenary by text-correcting old newspapers in Trove or transcribing original diaries and records in Wikisource.
Transcribing and text-correcting makes finding topics easier for researchers, family members and the general public. This important work can also help to lay the ground work for innovative and engaging digital projects commemorating World War One.
By creating a digital copy via transcription or text-correction – a researcher can then search for specific names and words in a document. These transcriptions can also be linked to other WW1 documents, photographs, films or newspaper articles.
Some good examples of how open-data and crowdsourcing can lead to online digital innovations:
- The Imperial War Memorial’s cross-platform project linking several data sets – click to view
- Crowdsourcing soldiers stories on Flickr – click to view.
- Data visualisations: war songs, postcards, newspapers, photos and films from the trenches – click to view
Many volunteers have come on board to help text-correct and transcribe the state library’s WW1 collections already. Within the first three days of launching, the 1916 diary of Queensland’s first female doctor, Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne, was completely transcribed in Wikisource and is now easily readable online. We still have some diaries from Gallipoli and pre-war books that need proofreading – click here to view.
Great enthusiasm has also been shown from volunteers text-correcting in Trove. Seasoned text-corrector Di Randall, took time out from her family history research to text-correct 22,440 lines of text for Pitch In! in August. Robert Jaffery, started text-correcting for the first time in July and has already completed 17,140 lines of text from historical articles in The Queenslander newspaper.
His favourite article was found in The Queenslander,13th March 1915 and is about “a handful of women in very remote Central Australia who saw the need for access to basic healthcare and started a bush nursing scheme.” Robert admits, “text-correcting is addictive” but we can reassure you, it’s also good for you!
State Library of Queensland still needs more people to transcribe and text-correct old papers and diaries in preparation for the WW1 Centenary. To get you started, library staff have put together lists of articles by theme:
- Stories on the Home Front: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=42851
- Stories on the Front Lines: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=42850
- War Horses: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=43643
- Women and the War: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=42855
- The Conscription Debate: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=43043
- Indigenous Soldiers: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=45005
- The Week at a Glance: http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=44445
It’s a growing and evolving list that is being updated regularly. There are no official selection criteria or requirements with the Library to get involved with Pitch In! All you need to do is Login or Sign-up with Trove. For the transcriptions, the process is similar – to simply sign-up with Wikisource.