Created... In the Spotlight (launching Nov 2, ok to tweet now). Based on Pybossa software, using IIIF images provided by the library's digital library system.
My definition is partly descriptive, and partly proscriptive (what it should be, as well as what it is). The benefit should be wider than your institution e.g. improving catalogue data helps any user of the catalogue as well as the institution.
No financial rewards so has to be rewarding. Often task is quite enjoyable, and people are motivated by knowing their contribution helps make the world a better place.
'Online volunteering' is a good way of thinking about crowdsourcing in cultural heritage. Contributors are looking for a meaningful leisure activity - some just want casual activities they can pick up whenever suits them, others want an opportunity to develop deeper skills and interests. The opportunity to socialise with other people with similar interests can turn into a strong motivation for continuing for some volunteers.
If you've worked with in-person volunteer or community programmes, you already have a lot of the skills needed to run a good crowdsourcing project.
Digital tech offers serious advantages over in-person volunteering programmes. They are not tied to venue opening hours or location; not limited by conservation or handling issues once material is digitised. Allows you to reach thousands of people, or just a few interested specialists who might be located anywhere in the world. Convenience for volunteers means they can fit it in around their lives. A few minutes here and there adds up, means people can take up hobbies sooner (where previously they might have waited until retirement).
Problem - There are almost a quarter of a million (230,000) printed sheets bound into 1,000 volumes. Existing catalogue records provide minimal details and do not expand beyond naming a location (town), the year(s) covered, and sometimes the name of a particular theatre. No detail important to researchers: no titles of plays or performances; no names of actors, dramatis personae; no dates, or details of songs performed.
Varied formats, not suitable for OCR or computational processing into structured data. Crowdsourcing some structured text seemed like the most realistic way of enhancing records and aiding discoverability.
I suppose we're trying to have it both ways - we've reduced as many barriers to participation as we can (with the resources we have), and worked to make tasks as small and easy as we can (more could always be done) but we're also trying to encourage lots of discussion. People can download the data as it's created - it might take a while to work through our systems and we wanted to provide instant access.
Built in ways to do more with the playbills - you can download the specific image, view metadata from the catalogue record, 'like' (if you're logged in) and 'share' - will have link to forum thread 'spotted on in the spotlight'
Create a virtuous circle.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/fylkesarkiv/4545523352/ Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane "Slå på ring", Folkefjellet.
Additional research questions like 'for the benefit of', patronage of, song titles etc - we now have a platform for creating tasks for people but the onus is on person with the question to motivate participation. So no academics saying 'sure, that'd be useful' but not taking part in comms.
Crowdsourcing 'In the Spotlight' at the British Library
Dr. Mia Ridge, @mia_out Digital Curator, British Library
Asking the public to help with tasks that
contribute to a shared, significant goal or
research interest related to cultural heritage
collections or knowledge.
The activities and/or goals should be inherently
Crowdsourcing in cultural heritage
Heritage crowdsourcing as volunteering
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdevaunphotography/8456110245/ by Jason Devaun
Playbills 'In the Spotlight'
Collection of over 230,000 printed sheets in 1,000
Minimal cataloguing for volumes: 'A collection of
playbills from miscellaneous Plymouth theatres 1796-
No information about individual playbills, performances
Turning metatasks into outreach
Experimenting with working with participants to
turn their stories into blog posts, newsletters
Future goals: platform for other
When we have basic metadata for each volume,
could we let academics and volunteers set up
new tasks based on our collections?
Would they be committed enough to recruit and
motivate volunteers, report on progress?
In the Spotlight http://playbills.libcrowds.com/
@LibCrowds newsletter http://eepurl.com/btvBKT
Dr. Mia Ridge, Digital Curator, British Library @mia_out