Making a hash of the Adkin Diary transcriptions


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Digital History workshop: Crowdsourcing in the Humanities and cultural heritage sector. Victoria University of Wellington 23 April 2013
Session: “Choir attempted that beautiful anthem “Oh, Radiant Morn” – made a hash of it”
- Making a hash of the Adkin Diary transcriptions
Presenter: Adrian Kingston

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Making a hash of the Adkin Diary transcriptions

  1. 1. “Choir attempted that beautifulanthem “Oh, Radiant Morn” –made a hash of it”Making a hash of the Adkin Diary transcriptionsAdrian KingstonCollections Information Manager, Digital Assets and DevelopmentMuseum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa@adriankingstonCrowdsourcing for the Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage SectorVictoria University of Wellington, 23 April 2013
  2. 2. Wed. Apr. 23.Worked at Swamp–Cow p[addock] fence. Bulliman took48 heavy fat ewes at 15/-. In evening Father + I drovedown to Levin No L[icense] Democratic Vote Campaigncommittee meeting. Father voted to chair + selfappointed secretary. Discussed campaign.
  3. 3. Background George Leslie Adkin; Farmer, photographer, geologist, explorer,archaeologist, ethnologist. 1 man, 41 diaries, 59 years, Over 21000 days Thousands of negatives and prints, some albums Initial deadline, launch of @life100yearsago ,a project ofWW100 Did everything ourselves. We resourced most of this projectwith a curator (Kirstie Ross) and a monkey with a keyboard Figure out process (imaging, cropping, loading, transcriptionguidelines), Figure out content (data structure, quirks of Adkin, glossariesetc.) Project? What project? Very early days.
  4. 4. Process Assess album condition Photograph album pages Crop pages to days Create narrative for day Load “day” images to EMu “day” narrative Transcribe Add associated subjects, people, places (from authority filesand controlled vocabularies) Add context to narrative entries for month Some parts semi-automated, some completely manual; someneed no special skills, others do
  5. 5. Received a letter + referee’s report from DrChilton, Editor “Trans[actions of the] NZInst[itute], on my paper on Tararuas = “mytheories based on too slender evidence anddebatable evidence + also in part erroneous (?GLA). I decided to withdraw the paper as it isevidently unsuitable for publication in“Transactions”
  6. 6. Framework Using existing framework; EMu, Collections Online CIDOC CRM for building and expressing relationships Days are conceptual entities, not physical. Framework allowsfor this Links to physical entities, diaries, photographs, albums Links to people, places, topics However, scale of content of really starting to highlight issues ofdisplay in Collections Online.
  7. 7. What we’ve learnt So much content, so much data More than just one man’s story, a huge data source on NZ life So much potential for a number of fields of research Our existing data structure works really well Transcription only one part To get most out of the content, need the links, need the richconceptual model Context needed, or at least useful, for the reader Existing display not so hot Enlivens the collection, a step beyond just digitisation andtranscription
  8. 8. Issues Size of the project is daunting, but the transcription seemsmanageable to do through crowdsourcing There are a number of existing platforms that look great, buthow to deal with matching to our structure, vocabularies,authorities? Could use automated in text authority mining, but would needto then match back to authorities and structure Beyond scope of crowdsourcing? But does that diminish thevalue of the “data”? Could come later though, are we getting too hung up onquality?
  9. 9. Our potential crowd By starting it ourselves, we have some content available topromote the crowdsourcing. Already had unsolicited volunteers The content is interesting: NZ history, early 20th Centurycourtship, farming, geology, religion, war, politics, weather… Horowhenua locals interested in local history, and one of theirfamous sons History students and educators Bring students closer to primary material, work with cursivehandwriting, highlight the importance of accuracy in relation todata, personal biography Learning history through a first hand account Plan B is do war years with interns
  10. 10. We decided to go into town to lunch so I pilotedthe party to Kirkcaldie + Stains where we had agood dinner… Will wanted to know if one couldhave all the courses for 2/-. I told him it was notcustomary to indulge in more than six but that ifhe wanted to tackle the lot we would have toleave him at it. Olive ordered dishes she did notwant + Alice also got a bit mixed up.
  11. 11. Where to Can’t do with existing (human) resource Transcription only one part of the project Need to figure what parts need to be crowdsourced, what can’t Transcription will enable the adding the contextual and semanticrelationships and links to other sources Options for automating the above Or, with a focussed crowd and a finite project, maybe we don’t needa new platform, could provide training and use existing tools Can’t crowdsource the display platform. Or can we? Crowdfund it? Make data available for analysis, visualisation, research, fun Need to formalise the project Lots to figure out
  12. 12. In evening rode down to see Maud – showedher some books but there seemed to be a lackof sympathy between us + the evening was afailure.
  13. 13. See Adkin diaries of Collections Online @adkin_diary on Twitter @life100yearsago on TwitterQuestions? Kirstie Ross, Curator Modern New Zealand Adrian Kingston, Collections Information Manager Philip Edgar, Manager Digital Collections and Access