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DCH Session 9 Crowdsourcing

Gabriel Bodard edited this page Nov 4, 2019 · 10 revisions

Sunoikisis Digital Cultural Heritage, Fall 2019

Session 9. Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage

Thursday Nov 28, 10:00–11:15 GMT = 11:00–12:15 CET

Convenors: John Pearce (King's College London), Mia Ridge (British Library)

YouTube link:

Slides: tba

Session outline

In this session we will begin by introducing the concepts behind crowdsourcing, participation and engagement with the public in transcribing, describing or categorising cultural heritage collections, with several concrete examples taken from active projects, including some from the British Library's collections. We will then explore in more depth one case study, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, hosted at the British Museum, and some of the goals and challenges of this project. We will suggest a practical project which will encourage you to ask questions about crowdsourced data, assess editing interfaces, and consider the attraction for the public of active research participation.

Seminar readings

  • Bland, R. 2013 "Response: the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme." Internet Archaeology 33. Available: (this is in part a response to other papers in the same volume which again may be of interest if you wish to take this further. Especially the papers by Campbell, Wilson and Harrison)
  • Mia Ridge (2013). "From Tagging to Theorizing: Deepening Engagement with Cultural Heritage through Crowdsourcing." Curator 56.4, 435–450. Available:

Further reading

  • Bevan, A., Pett, D. et al. 2014. "Citizen Archaeologists. Online Collaborative Research about the Human Past." Human Computation 1:2:185-199 DOI: 10.15346/hc.v1i2.9
  • Bland, R. 2008. "The development and future of the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme," in S Thomas and P Stone (eds.), Metal Detecting and Archaeology, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 63-85.
  • Dunn, S. And Hedges, M. 2013. "Crowd-sourcing as a Component of Humanities Research Infrastructures." International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing 7.1, 147-169. Available:
  • Gill, D. 2010. "The Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure Act: Protecting the Archaeology of England and Wales?" Papers of the Institute of Archaeology 20, 1-11. Available: (you may also find the other short papers in this volume of interest)
  • Orlandi, S. 2016. "Ancient Inscriptions between Citizens and Scholars: The Double Soul of the EAGLE Project." In Romanello M. & Bodard G, Digital Classics Outside the Echo-Chamber. London: Ubiquity Press. Available:
  • Ridge, Mia (2016). Making digital history: The impact of digitality on public participation and scholarly practices in historical research. PhD thesis Open University. Available:
  • Robbins, K. 2013. "Balancing the scales: exploring the variable effects of collection bias on data collected by the Portable Antiquities Scheme." Landscapes 14.1, 54-72.

Essay title

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