18th century parliamentary papers digitisation
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This project delivered over 1 million pages from all surviving 18th century Parliamentary papers, bills, journals and reports using an automated workflow, and Britian’s first robotic scanner. Users can browse, search and download the texts from documents of all surviving 18th century Parliamentary papers, bills, journals and reports.
This project (BOPCRIS) has delivered 1,260,062 scanned printed and hand written pages of text and images representing the main official publications of the `long’ 18th Century. The output has include a number of technical developments, including Optical character recognition of printed texts, and word and place indexing enabled within web interface, as well as a web interface to bring together the existing BOPCRIS projects. The final project report describes the approach, the activities undertaken, and the extent to which the objectives were met. It also celebrates a series of partnerships, not only with our content providers, the British Library and the University of Cambridge, but the technical input from a range of organisations and individual who have contributed their expertise and support.
As well as making a significant contribution to the rich corpus of historical documentation available free at the point of use to the UK HE and FE community, the project has helped to develop transferable knowledge and expertise in the area of digitising historical materials. Technical investigations included the exploitation of robotic scanning technique; skills, metrics and workflow, the development of an integrated hardware and software platform for management and output, the operation of evolving standards, and the implications of large-scale data storage. A sub-project also investigated the application of semantic tagging to a part of the database by way of proof of concept. Issues of scalability and sustainability have also been addressed.
The report outlines the methodology employed, and shows some of the complexities involved in managing large-scale digitisation of historical materials. It also makes some recommendations for future work.
A series of technical reports are appended outlining specific work on applying standards and design principles.