The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection’s (CHNC) text correction competition was a roaring success, with 66 volunteers correcting a whopping total of 121,267 lines of text between April 1 and April 15! Thank you to all who participated. Congratulations to the prize winners! Here are the top ten editors:
To recap, we challenged the public to help CHNC while social distancing by becoming a volunteer text corrector. Journeyman Editors donate their time by correcting the text generated by OCR (automated text recognition software), enabling the content of the digitized newspapers to become keyword searchable and more discoverable on the internet. Having reliable transcription in place is a key aspect of CHNC, as increasing searchability makes for quicker, more relevant research, and the results will be utilized by researchers for many years to come.
Interested in Text Correction? Host Your Own Competition!
If you are part of an institution such as a library or historical society, you could easily hold a local competition of your own! Clear Creek County Library District and the Idaho Springs Historical Society (with a little help from CHNC) are planning to do exactly that for the month of June.
Perhaps there is already a local historic newspaper title in CHNC whose transcription is not yet complete. Well, many hands make light work, as they say (especially where there are prize incentives).
What’s more – we would be happy to assist in setting up your competition by guiding you through the process and providing some CHNC branded swag for your top contributors. I believe that is what they call a win-win!
If you’re interested in getting started with text correction (either as an institution or as a private individual), but don’t know where to start, here are some helpful resources to help you along. Check out CHNC’s resources for text correcting and information about OCR, including a video demonstration and FAQs, on the CHNC website. Also, Veridian (whose online platform is utilized by CHNC) recently published some of their own helpful best practices for text correction, which you can view on their website.
So, if you’re looking for a new way to pass the time while simultaneously serving historians and researchers around the world, text correction offers the unique opportunity to relive history word for word, and as those lines begin to stack up, so does the feeling of satisfaction that you are making a difference.