Libcrowds: crowdsourcing keeps getting better

crowdsourcing_from_the_british_library___libcrowds

LibCrowds is a project from the British Library and British Library Labs that uses crowdsourcing to transcribe some of the printed cards still housed in physical card catalogues.

The British Library’s online catalogue, Explore, contains nearly 57 million digital records, but for some important research materials these printed cards remain the only access points.

Three projects are currently underway: Pinyin Card Catalogue: Drawer Five; LCP (the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays and Correspondence): 1824-1899 (Abbe-Belles); and Urdu Card Catalogue: Drawer Two.

Ample instructions for volunteers who wish to contribute are provided, including video demonstrations. Volunteers and anyone who’s interested can track the progress in the Statistics section of the LibCrowds website. A heading here indicates that “688 volunteers have participated in 14 projects, made 32,119 contributions and completed 10,392 tasks.” Following the heading, data is presented in graphic form. For example, there is a map of the locations of the most active volunteers and a graph showing hourly contribution levels over the past 24 hours.

Technology

LibCrowds is built on top of PyBossa , an open-source Python framework for the creation of crowdsourcing projects. PyBossa is written in Python and uses the Flask micro-framework. Each project on the platform is written in a combination of HTML, CSS and Javascript. The community forum is powered by Discourse. The LibCrowds theme and any plugins developed to provide additional functionality are open-souce and available on GitHub.

LibCrowds is currently running the following plugins:

While I’m familiar with crowdsourced work at National Library online catalogue at Trove in Australia, and the community working there to help improve the digital resources there, it was great to learn about the British Library project.

home_-_trove

If you are interested, join the TROVE community that’s organising and improving this information resource.

Connect to others with similar interests on the Trove forum

One thought on “Libcrowds: crowdsourcing keeps getting better

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for sharing the work about PYBOSSA. I’m the lead developer of PYBOSSA and we’re really happy to know that other projects discover it.

    I guess you already know it, but just in case, check also British Museum’s PYBOSSA project micropasts.org. This project has transcribed all the Bronze Age cards from 1800 to 1990 🙂 More than 33k cards.

    All the best,

    Daniel

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