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.
LibCrowds is currently running the following plugins:
- pybossa-discourse (v0.1.3) : A PyBossa plugin for Discourse integration.
- pybossa-z3950 (v0.1.3) : A PyBossa plugin for Z39.50 integration.
- libcrowds-auth (v0.0.1) : Modified authentication methods for LibCrowds.
- pybossa-gravatar (v0.2.4) : A PyBossa plugin for Gravatar integration.
- libcrowds-statistics (v0.1.4) : Global statistics page for LibCrowds.
- pybossa-github-builder (v1.0.2) : A PyBossa plugin for creating projects directly from GitHub repositories.
- libcrowds-data (v0.2.0) : Global data repository page for LibCrowds.
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.
If you are interested, join the TROVE community that’s organising and improving this information resource.
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