National Army Museum starts with first crowdsourcing project on Heritage Helpers
16 June 2015904
The National Army Museum in the United Kingdom and Picturae have been working together to launch the first project on the crowdsourcing website Heritage Helpers. It’s an English version of the successful Dutch crowdsourcing website VeleHanden.
After Picturae digitized the National Army Museum’s collection Disbanded Irish Regiments, Waterloo Campaign and Women’s Services (WRAC/WAAC) archives. Picturae has also developed a crowdsourcing project for the National Army Museum, allowing the public to help in describing their digitized collection relating to the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo.
The records offer a rare opportunity for the public to get involved, as the Museum is asking for help to transcribe and tag the images. By investigating the letters, journals and diaries of British Army soldiers who served in the Napoleonic Wars, volunteers will help unlock the real life stories behind the Battle and help the Museum preserve them for future generations.
Waterloo Lives: In Their Own Words
‘Waterloo Lives: In Their Own Words’ is part of the Waterloo Lives programme from the National Army Museum, offering a number of educational and entertaining events and activities across the country, including exhibitions, art displays and lectures. Commenting on the launch of the ‘Waterloo Lives: In Their Own Words’ project, Janice Murray, Director General of the National Army Museum said: “The Battle of Waterloo is one of the most important events in European History, and it’s waiting to be discovered through this new archive. We’re dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the British Army and telling its soldiers’ stories, but we need the public’s help to unearth more details and help us explore this Waterloo treasure trove.”
Thursday June 18, 2015 will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. On one side were the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, self-declared Emperor of France, and on the other the coalition of nations led by the Duke of Wellington. The battle was decisive in curbing the territorial ambitions of the Napoleonic regime.
The Dutch crowdsourcing platform www.velehanden.nl is very successful in attracting volunteers and moreover to keep them working on different projects. These volunteers (currently 6,500) work on indexing, describing, tagging and transcribing all kinds of digital assets. The first Dutch project was completed within eighteen months.
The National Army Museum in London was determined and bold enough to discover the possibilities of crowdsourcing and with their help we are pleased to announce the launch of the English version of this crowdsourcing platform. Their first project is a transcription project for the Waterloo Diaries but the success of the platform comes from adding more, different projects, which in return will attract volunteers and keep them working on more than one project at a time.