Bentham Project

Transcribe Bentham and the Consolidated Bentham Papers Repository

In 2010 the Bentham Project was awarded a Digital Equipment and Database Enhancement for Impact (DEDEFI) Award from the AHRC to launch the Bentham Papers Transcription Initiative, or Transcribe Bentham for short. 

The Bentham Project, in collaboration with the University of London Computer Centre, UCL Library Services and UCL Learning and Media Services, and with consultation from the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, has created a Transcription Desk where volunteer users can log-in and transcribe previously unstudied and unpublished manuscripts from the Bentham Papers collection in UCL Library's Special Collections. Since launch, volunteers from around the world have transcribed several thousand Bentham manuscripts to an extremely high standard.

Transcribe Bentham was, in September 2011, honoured with an Award of Distinction in the Digital Communities category of the highly prestigious Prix Ars Electronica 2011. The Digital Communities section was won in 2004 by Wikipedia, and in 2009 Wikileaks was the recipient of the same Award of Distinction now bestowed upon Transcribe Bentham.

On 1 October 2012, under a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Scholarly Communications programme, the Bentham Project will begin a two-year project entitled the Consolidated Bentham Papers Repository. This work will build upon the ongoing success of Transcribe Bentham, and the existing project partners will also work with the British Library. Under the grant, much of the remainder of the UCL Bentham Papers will be digitised, as will all of the British Library's Bentham material, and the manuscripts will be made available via Transcribe Bentham for crowdsourcing. The transcription interface will be updated and improved, and the manuscripts will be reunited (digitally) for the first time since Bentham's death, thereby creating a free-to-access historical and philosophical resource of great significance.

Once transcripts are submitted by volunteers, they are edited by Bentham Project staff. All submitted transcripts and corresponding manuscript images will become fully accessible online in UCL Library's Digital Collections.

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