Friday, 30 September 2011

Dickens Journals Online - the online text correction project

I would like to interrupt my regular 23 Things blogging to talk about something else I’ve been involved in recently. Not long ago I found out about Dickens Journals Online, a project which aims to make Charles Dickens’ journals including Household Words and All the Year Round publicly accessible online. The site is due to be launched in March 2012 as part of the Dickens Bicentenary celebrations. This Guardian article explains more.

In order to make the journals available online, the journal pages have been scanned as image files, and optical character recognition software has been used to convert these pages into text files. However, this software isn’t 100% accurate and paper smudges, tears and unclear text mean that the text files do contain errors.

The team at DJO requested that members of the public offer their help to make these magazines accessible. I can’t remember where I originally heard about the project, but I thought it was a great idea and signed up. You simply select an uncorrected magazine and, using the scanned page as a guide, edit the text file to remove all errors. The work would suit someone with a pedantic nature and an eye for detail, as well as anyone with an interest in the Victorian era.

If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can find out more and sign up on the website. You can also follow DJO on Twitter or Facebook.

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