© Wienbibliothek im Rathaus
Institution: Wienbibliothek im Rathaus
Project lead: Alexandra Egger
Rathaus, Stiege 4, 1. Stock, 1010 Wien
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Writing History: Letters 1914-1919

What is the project about?

The crowdsourcing project "Letters 1914-1919" is about the transcription of the unique letter collection of the Vienna City Library from this period. In contrast to historical printed works, which are now subjected to automatic full-text recognition as standard, this is still not so easy to do for manuscripts - especially when the documents come from many different writers, as in this case. Since the democratization of knowledge plays a central role in the range of tasks of the Vienna City Library and only readable and comprehensible knowledge can be brought to life, the idea arose to ask the crowd for help in indexing the content. The historically significant period from 1914 to 1919 was chosen as the starting point.

The Vienna City Library will digitize all correspondence - more than 200,000 items - by 2025 and make them freely available in the Digital Library in compliance with copyright law. Due to the alphabetical approach, the crowdsourcing project's holdings will successively expand up to the letter Z.

How can one contribute?

Participation is open to all interested persons. After registering, you can choose between two tasks: Transcribe letters or check letters already transcribed by others. If errors are discovered, they can be changed and a new version created. Three independent confirmations are necessary for a transcription to be classified as correct.

What happens to the results?

The finished transcriptions are integrated into the Digital Library of the Vienna City Library at regular intervals and can then be retrieved and searched at any time. This makes the contents of the letters accessible to all interested persons - something that was previously reserved for a limited circle of experts.

Crowdsourcing platform crowdsourcing.wien 

The project "Letters 1914-1919" is part of the crowdsourcing platform crowdsourcing.wien - a cooperation of Wien Museum and Vienna City Library. The aim of this joint platform is to make original sources on the history of Vienna from various institutions accessible to all interested persons with the help of the crowd. Because only knowledge that can be read and comprehended can be brought to life and made available for inclusive debate.

More information: New platform crowdsourcing.wien and "Letters 1914-1919" www.wienbibliothek.at/ueber-uns/presse/presseaussendungen/neue-plattform-crowdsourcingwien-briefe-1914-1919

Podcast episode

In July 2023, project coordinator Alexandra Egger was guest on the Österreich forscht podcast Wissen macht Leute - you can listen to the episode here (in German).

Picture gallery


ma9 orbit1 pos rgb

Tagged under
  • history
  • culture
  • language
Read 468 times| Last modified on Monday, 17 July 2023 10:32