Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

7/1/2010 - 6/30/2011

Funding Totals

$49,215.00 (approved)
$49,215.00 (awarded)

Crowdsourcing Documentary Transcription: an Open Source Tool

FAIN: HD-50927-10

George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)
Sharon M. Leon (Project Director: October 2009 to February 2012)

The development of an open source tool that would allow scholars to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, using the Papers of the War Department as a test case.

The Center for History and New Media, George Mason University seeks to build an open source tool to enable researchers to contribute document transcriptions and research notes to digital archival projects, thus harnessing the power of the community of users to improve the discoverability and usefulness of the archive. Digital archives and documentary projects need a viable solution that lowers both the cost and the investment of staff time involved with transcribing of large numbers of historical documents. There will be significant benefits for both the editorial staff and for interested users, whether they are scholarly researchers, students and teachers, or members of the general public. This grant seeks to address these long-term resource challenges facing many digital documentary editing projects. We will use the Papers of the War Department digital archive as a test case.

Associated Products

Scripto (Computer Program)
Title: Scripto
Author: Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media
Abstract: Scripto is a lightweight, open source tool that allows users to contribute transcriptions to online documentary projects. The tool includes a versioning history and full set of editorial controls, so that project staff can manage public contributions.
Year: 2011
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The main website for the tool.
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: The code for the tool is available for download and modification via Github.
Access Model: GPL 3.0
Programming Language/Platform: PHP, Zend framework
Source Available?: Yes