Conversation on Caribbean Collections – Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science with Archives (SOAS): July 26, 11am-12pm

On July 26, from 11am-12pm (Miami time), please join us for a conversation on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science with Archives.  

In this session, Joanne Ichimura and Dr. Sophie Salffner, Special Collections Archivist and Digital Archivist from SOAS University of London, will share about their upcoming planned Citizen Science Archival project, featuring letters from Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.

SOAS Special Collections holds the archives of the Council for World Mission, including correspondence from London Missionary Society missionaries to the London office. The early 19th century letters from Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago have recently been digitised. However, the cataloguing of the letters is un-reflected by today’s standards and has very limited content, potentially representing only the voices of white male missionaries. SOAS Library and the Council for World Mission plan to set up a Zooniverse citizen science project to improve access to and discoverability of the materials, and to represent a wider range of perspectives in the description of the materials. SOAS would like to invite communities represented in the letters as well as communities with a potential interest in the letters in designing aspects of the project and in the crowdsourcing work itself. Planned activities include online and in-person meetings to introduce the project; follow-up meetings or follow-up questionnaires to gather feedback and input into the project design; the actual crowdsourcing project; online discussion boards around the letters and their content; in-person and/or online transcription events; and co-authored outputs such as blogposts. As the project develops, activities might be added, depending on the participants’ interests.   Project outputs (transcriptions, identified entities, content classifications) will be made publicly available on SOAS Digital Collections together with the digitised letters and as part of the metadata.

For this conversation, Sophie will provide an introduction to the project and we will discuss:

  • What interests you about these collections?
  • Who all might be interested in hosting a transcribe-athon? What are your needs and concerns for this?
  • If/what sort of content advise is needed for these types of materials? What are the opportunities for work for intergenerational healing?
  • What are your goals for bringing people to the archives?
  • What are your goals for citizen science work like transcriptions for your collections?

About the webinar series: Caribbean Collections in the Digital Age:  

This webinar is part of the series Caribbean Collections in the Digital Age, which showcases digital and/as public research with Caribbean Collections. The series provides a collaborative space for professionals to share on projects and experiences to foster communication and support our shared communities of practice. The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) and the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) have organized Caribbean Collections in the Digital Age. Please also save the date for next stage conversations at ACURIL’s 2023 annual conference to be held 4-8 June in Kingston, Jamaica.