UCL Faculty of Laws


Transcribe Bentham praised by German State Secretary for Education

10 March 2015

Bentham Project

Transcribe Bentham, the award-winning participatory transcription project was praised last week at the Digital Humanities Summit in Berlin by the State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Cornelia Quennet-Thielen.

In her welcoming address, the State Secretary described Transcribe Bentham as a fascinating example of a user-friendly project that combined open participation with high quality results, and suggested that it should be an inspiration for German projects to not only disseminate their research, but to also encourage the public to participate in their activities.

The Digital Humanities Summit focused on the future development of the digital research infrastructure for the arts and humanities. Around 300 experts from across academia and politics attended the event organised by the German branch of the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities, DARIAH, and Text-Grid, a virtual research environment for the humanities.

Transcribe Bentham, hosted by the Bentham Project at UCL Laws, aims to engage the public in the transcription of original and previously unstudied manuscripts written by Jeremy Bentham. Volunteers are able to select transcripts to read and transcribe Bentham’s original handwritten text through Transcribe Bentham’s online platform. Since its inception in 2010, over 12,590 of the total 60,000 manuscripts have been digitised thanks to the Transcribe Bentham volunteers.

In the conclusion to her speech, the State Secretary called for more opportunities like Transcribe Bentham to enable people to use the Internet to deepen their knowledge. Referencing Thomas Aquinas’ famous quote, ‘wonder is the desire for knowledge’, she said: “We wonder about the new opportunities, look forward to new ways to represent knowledge and to build new understanding.”