At the National Archives, we’re always trying to think of new ways to make our historical records more accessible to the public. We have only a small fraction of our 10 billion records online, so it’s clear we’ve got to get creative.
It’s vital that we learn how other institutions address this challenge. One approach we’re seeing is for institutions to engage citizens in crowdsourcing or microvolunteering projects. These projects leverage the enthusiasm and willingness of online volunteers to transcribe or geotag historical records online.
Yesterday, we hosted a public program in the McGowan Theater called “Are You In? Citizen Archivists, Crowdsourcing, and Open Government. We heard about three innovative projects:
- the World Archives Project (http://community.ancestry.com/wap/download_ie.aspx) from Ancestry.com,
- the Map Warper Project (http://maps.nypl.org/warper/) from the New York Public Library, and
- the North American Bird Phenology Program (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bpp/) from the U.S. Geological Survey
I encourage you to watch the video of the full program below.
Try your hand at these and other types of crowdsourcing projects and let us know what types of projects you would like to see the National Archives develop in the future.