Crowdsourcing, or asking the general public to help contribute to shared goals, is increasingly popular in memory institutions as a tool for digitising or computing vast amounts of data. Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage brings together for the first time the collected wisdom of international leaders in the theory and practice of crowdsourcing in cultural heritage. It features eight accessible case studies of groundbreaking projects from leading cultural heritage and academic institutions, and four thought-provoking essays that reflect on the wider implications of this engagement for participants and on the institutions themselves.
Crowdsourcing in cultural heritage is more than a framework for creating content: as a form of mutually beneficial engagement with the collections and research of museums, libraries, archives and academia, it benefits both audiences and institutions. However, successful crowdsourcing projects reflect a commitment to developing effective interface and technical designs. Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage will help practitioners who wish to create their own crowdsourcing projects understand how other institutions devised the right combination of source material and the tasks for their 'crowd'. The authors provide theoretically informed, actionable insights on crowdsourcing in cultural heritage, outlining the context in which their projects were created, the challenges and opportunities that informed decisions during implementation, and reflecting on the results.
"Crowdsourcing has risen in popularity among memory institutions with stunning rapidity. However, the distribution of the methodology among libraries, archives, museums, and scientific and editorial projects presents a real challenge to researchers and practitioners. Crowdsourcing our Cultural Heritage meets that challenge very effectively. There is simply no other resource which draws together the expertise of leading crowdsourcing projects from around the world, covering diverse disciplines, participatory activities, and types of source media."
- Ben Brumfield, independent software developer, FromThePage.com
"Any cultural institution thinking of turning to crowdsourcing should pause and read this book first. Combining comprehensive case studies with subtle and well-informed reflection on what it means to invite contributions from a crowd, it is the first volume to seriously address a growing part of museum and archive practice."
- Chris Lintott, Principal Investigator, Galaxy Zoo and Zooniverse.org and Trustee of the National Maritime Museum, UK
- Crowdsourcing our cultural heritage: introduction, Mia Ridge
Part I Case Studies
- Crowdsourcing in Brooklyn, Shelley Bernstein
- Old Weather: approaching collections from a different angle, Lucinda Blaser
- ‘Many hands make light work. Many hands together make merry work’: Transcribe Bentham and crowdsourcing manuscript collections, Tim Causer and Melissa Terras
- Build, analyze, and generalize: community transcription of the Papers of the War Department and the development of Scripto, Sharon M. Leon
- What's on the menu? Crowdsourcing at the New York Public Library, Michael Lascarides and Ben Vershbow
- What’s Welsh for ‘crowdsourcing’? Citizen science and community engagement at the National Library of Wales, Lyn Lewis Dafis, Lorna M. Hughes and Rhian James
- Waisda? Making videos findable through crowdsourced annotations, Johan Oomen, Riste Gligorov and Michiel Hildebrand
- Your Paintings Tagger: crowdsourcing descriptive metadata for a national virtual collection, Kathryn Eccles and Andrew Greg
Part II Challenges and Opportunities of Cultural Heritage
- Crowdsourcing: Crowding out the archivist? Locating crowdsourcing within the broader landscape of participatory archives, Alexandra Eveleigh
- How the crowd can surprise us: humanities crowdsourcing and the creation of knowledge, Stuart Dunn and Mark Hedges
- The role of open authority in a collaborative web, Lori Byrd Phillips
- Making crowdsourcing compatible with the missions and values of cultural heritage organizations, Trevor Owens
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Mia Ridge specialises in user experience design for participation and engagement in cultural heritage and the digital humanities, and has advised organisations such as the BBC, Public Catalogue Foundation, The Science Museum Group and the V&A Museum on usability, audience participation and crowdsourcing. Mia has lead workshops teaching design for crowdsourcing in cultural heritage and academia for groups such as the British Library’s Digital Scholarship programme and the Digital Humanities 2013 conference. Her research at the Open University focuses on effective design for participatory digital history and the collaborative enhancement of historical materials.