In this brief newsletter, we share progress reports for crowdsourcing projects at the British Library including In the Spotlight, Convert-a-card and Georeferencer and give you a special preview of a forthcoming project, Living with Machines.
Introducing… Living with Machines
A collaboration between the British Library and Alan Turing Institute with academic partners, the Living with Machines project aims to develop data science and digital history methods to use digitised collections at scale and rethink the impact of technology on the lives of ordinary people during the Industrial Revolution. Amongst other sources, our researchers are using millions of pages of digitised newspapers to shed new light on this period through a five year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Because these collections are so vast, we need your help to discover personal stories about Britain’s industrial past. Specifically at this stage we'd like feedback from you, our newsletter subscribers, about the 'beta' task we're currently running on the Zooniverse platform.
Please take a look at our site, try the task, and let us know how we might make it easier or more interesting: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/bldigital/living-with-machines
This first task is designed to help us understand what kinds of accidents happened in the workplace as machinery was introduced. We'll use the results to train machine learning software to find more articles about accidents, getting more value from each classification you do. The more you classify over the next few weeks, the more data our historians, curators and data scientists will have to work with in the new year.
If you have questions or notice something interesting, you can post on the project forum, https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/bldigital/living-with-machines/talk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out more about Living with Machines at http://livingwithmachines.ac.uk.
Playbills In the Spotlight
We're thrilled that over 70 projects have already been completed! Thank you to everyone who's transcribed or marked out a title, date or genre - you're helping enrich the British Library's collections while creating datasets for researchers.
We've added new volumes to keep you going over the Christmas/New Year break. At In the Spotlight, you can help make historic playbills findable for theatres including: King's Lynn 1764-1772, Pittenweem - Sandwich 1777-1855 (Vol. 1 and 2), Waterford - Winchester 1787-1852, Theatre Royal, York 1782-1849, miscellaneous theatres: Nottingham - Oswestry 1755-1848, New Theatre Royal, Hull 1810-1811.