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Grant number: HK-230965-15

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HK-230965-15

University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)
Sergio Romero (Project Director: 02/18/2015 to present)
Laura Mandell (Co Project Director: 07/16/2015 to present)

Reading the First Books: Multilingual, Early-Modern OCR for Primeros Libros

Enhancement of optical character recognition (OCR) technologies to improve researchers' ability to discover and search early modern, multilingual printed texts. During this phase, the project team would focus on books printed in the Americas before 1601.

Digital facsimile collections of early modern printed books (books printed on hand presses in the 15th-17th century) greatly improve access to these cultural heritage materials for scholars, students, and the general public. The utility and accessibility of these digital collections, however, has been limited by the challenges of transcribing early modern printed books: their linguistic complexity, unstable orthography (spelling and punctuation), and uneven typesetting and inking make these books difficult to read for humans and machines alike. The goal of this project is to develop and implement groundbreaking methods in the automatic transcription of early modern printed books. This will increase access to books that are not just a vital record of historical thought during this exciting period in European, colonial, and indigenous American history, but also reflect the development of a new, transformative technology - the printing press.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
International Studies; Latin American History; Latin American Languages

Program:
Digital Humanities Implementation Grants

Division:
Digital Humanities

Total amounts:
$215,830 (approved)
$215,830 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2015 – 12/31/2017