Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2011 - 1/31/2013

Funding Totals

$50,000.00 (approved)
$50,000.00 (awarded)

Improving Digital Record Annotation Capabilities with Open-sourced Ontologies and Crowd-sourced Workers

FAIN: HD-51480-11

Museum of the City of New York, Inc. (New York, NY 10029-5221)
Lacy Schutz (Project Director: March 2011 to August 2013)

The development of methods and tools to facilitate the description of digitized primary sources by combining "crowdsourcing" tactics with linked open data and semantic Web technologies.

The Museum of the City of New York has undertaken a long-term project to digitize its collection of 1.5 million objects, annotate them with metadata, and make them publicly available via the Internet. At present, Museum staff annotate images using a traditional lexicon assembled from authority sources such as the Library of Congress and the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus, but with limited resources the Museum cannot scale to meet its goal of providing the highest levels of accessibility and discoverability of collections to researchers as well as to the general public. This project offers a cost-effective, scalable solution that 1) consolidates the current lexicon with linked open data sources by generating alignments and reconciling semantically equivalent elements, creating a super-set lexicon, and 2) divides the work of annotating into micro-tasks that can be completed by huge labor pools available through crowd-sourced marketplaces.