Technology and Crowsourcing

We all face overwhelming challenges to maintain our collections, increase access to them and keep the public engaged with our collections regardless the size of our museums. The Smithsonian has an enormous collection of historical documents, many of which remain largely undocumented and unstudied. To allow the public to aid us in the analysis and transcription of these documents and objects, the Smithsonian launched the Transcription Center ( on June 15, 2013. This presentation will describe the Transcription Center and its crowsourcing functionality. Detailed use cases will be included to explain the process of unlocking contents, increasing public access, and automatic creation of quality catalog records. The presentation will also cover community outreach & engagement, volunteer collaborations and management, and statistics. This project is a technology project as well as a social engagement project. It touches multiple departments within an organization from collection management, to cataloging, to public access to education. The experience gained and lessons learned from this project is applicable to all museums and archives across the board. Speaker(s) Session Leader : Ching-hsien Wang, Project Manager, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Chief Information Officer MCN 2016 Presenting Sponsor: Piction New Orleans, LA