Many hands make light work

We’ve all been watching communities around the world adapting to pandemic related life challenges. Newly housebound, some people have thrown themselves into hobbies and culinary creations, while others have wondered how on earth to fill the time.

While we’ve lost access to libraries, universities and museums, the digital collections these institutions have carefully built are enjoying a surge in numbers. With more time on their hands, people have taken the opportunity to explore these rich historical resources.

Similarly, we’ve seen that for some Veridian based collections, our crowdsourced User Text Correction feature has been busier than ever. Text correction helps to improve the searchability of a digital collection, as readers spot and amend any OCR errors that occur. It’s interesting and rewarding work - you get to deep dive into the content and enjoy the satisfaction of leaving it better, and more accessible than you found it. 

In April The Colorado State Library upped the stakes by running a text correction contest for patrons of their Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. They offered prizes and the chance to make it into the Text Correctors Hall of Fame. The library had a great response, with 66 people correcting 121,267 lines of text over 14 days. Colorado Digital Collections Coordinator Leigh Jeremias noted: “While text correcting is invaluable to providing our users with better search results, it is also rewarding and just a little addictive.” 

It’s easy to get involved with correcting text by registering with a Veridian collection, familiarizing yourself with the text correction interface and jumping in to make your changes.

We’ve just released this handy guide for those wanting more background and some direction on how best to make corrections.

The negative effects of the coronavirus crisis are wide-reaching, but let’s not overlook a few silver linings along the way. The air is clearer above our busiest cities and it’s possible the lessons learned from COVID-19 will prepare us better for the future. 

Let’s add to that list the growth of a community deeply immersed in our digitized history, helping to make it more accessible to the world. 

Visit the Veridian Crowdsourced User Text Correction Guidelines