The University of Alabama
Crowdsourcing at University Libraries
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionThe University Libraries digital repository, Acumen, now has integrated crowdsourcing functionality to allow users to "tag" or "transcribe" materials from our collections. If you've been using the external Tagit or Transcribe interfaces, your work hasn't been lost! The data will be transferred over to its new home. 

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing means outsourcing a task to a group of people, allowing difficult and time-consuming projects to be tackled a bit at a time, and by a large group of individuals, working asynchronously and at their own pace.

Crowdsourcing in the digital library context allows users from the comfort of their own computer or mobile device to apply descriptive tags to photographs and other materials or transcribe handwritten text from letters, diairies, and more. This provides new ways to access materials, and a great sense of accomplishment for users. 

To add tags or a transcription to an item, click on the tag or document icon at the top right of the image to open the pane. 

Do you have questions, comments, or ideas about crowdsourcing in Acumen?  Please contact us!

Tagging & Transcription

Why tag our photographs?

We have thousands of digitized images in our collections! Many of these photos lack complete descriptions of the people, places, or objects displayed. By applying your own "tags" (key words, descriptions) to our photographs (or other documents!), you can help us fill in the blanks and provide more thorough and accurate information for students and researchers using our collections.The tags you provide will be added to Acumen, so researchers can find material by using your search terms. The more you tag, the richer the experience for all! 


Why transcribe our documents?

Handwritten documents offer a unique challenge for users and reserachers.  Handwriting, especially the handwriting from the 19th century or earlier, can be very difficult to decipher.  Transcribing documents adds scholarly value and information to the items and, just as importantly, provides text that make the items keyword searchable. Transcription is like a puzzle, a great way to spend a few hours or a few minutes. It also allows you to share your work with others.