Artificial Intelligence transforms discoverability of 17th and 18th century manuscripts using handwritten text recognition

Just in from Adam Matthew:

Adam Matthew Digital is the first primary source publisher to utilize artificial intelligence to offer transformative search capabilities with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) for its manuscript collections.

The first new collection available with this enhancement is Colonial America, Module III: The American Revolution. Sourced from The National Archives UK, Colonial America offers access to thousands of documents on North America from 1606-1822. Described as an indispensable resource for researchers of the early-modern Atlantic world and winner of Library Journal’s Best Reference Award, scholars and researchers have clamoured for access to this material for years. Now for the first time, all handwritten documents within the entire Colonial America series are full-text searchable.

“HTR not only significantly enhances the already tremendous Colonial America resource,” commented Dean Hanlon, Partnerships Manager, The National Archives, UK, “but with such innovation, the potential for the future of pre-19th century academic digitization is huge!”

The HTR application uses complex algorithms and artificial intelligence to determine possible combinations of characters in manuscripts. This enables relevant handwritten text to be identified at document level, allowing users to easily navigate between highlighted search results.

“HTR has been one of the final holy grails; to make digitized manuscript content fully searchable is transformative,” noted Khal Rudin, Adam Matthew Digital Managing Director. “This technology will dramatically change teaching and research possibilities. To see accurate search results from 17th century manuscript material is the most exciting use of technology I have seen in our industry.”

This game-changing technology is set to be released in both new and selected existing collections published by Adam Matthew Digital, including Medical Services and Warfare, East India Company and Mass Observation Online.

One thought on “Artificial Intelligence transforms discoverability of 17th and 18th century manuscripts using handwritten text recognition”

Comments are closed.