Finished Summary Workshop “Using Transkribus to explore networks in Islamicate societies: An introductory guide” (May.29)


Category: Workshop

Research Group: B01 State SystemsC01 Digital Humanities

2021-05-11 Updated After a few days of system outage, Transkribus is back! We have rescheduled the workshop as follows. We sincerely look forward to your participation.
Date: May 29th (Sat), 11:00-12:30
The Zoom link that was previously distributed is no longer valid. To participate in this workshop, please fill out the registration form. []


Over the last few years, digital technology has allowed scholars to collate and research huge quantities of source materials very quickly, in particular using big data techniques. One of the simplest but most useful of these has been the plethora of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software that has enabled researchers to search for various keywords in multi-volume historical sources and gain results almost instantly. However, these programmes have been almost exclusively focused on printed, published texts, leaving manuscripts and other handwritten materials left out. Yet recently, a new programme has been developed, Transkribus, which enables scholars to digitally search across handwritten source material in the same way as for printed texts with OCR. In this talk, I will introduce Transkribus and its main features, and explore how it can be used to reconstruct networks and connectivity in Islamic society, primarily using the example of documents found in archives in Malta.


Date&Time: May 29th, 11:00–12:30


Presentation: Alex Mallett


Language: English
Venue: Zoom, Open to the public & Free, Pre-registration is required


Pre-registration: Please fill in the pre-registration form.


Co-organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Connectivity Analyses by Digital Humanities Method” (Principal Investigator: Wakako Kumakura (ILCAA); 20H05830) & Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “The Ideas of the Muslim Community and State Systems” (Principal Investigator: Nobuaki Kondo (ILCAA); 20H05827)



In the workshop held on 29 May, Alex Mallett introduced functions of Trunskribus, a HTR (Handwritten Text Recognition) for manuscripts, and how to use it taking Maltese historical documents as an example. In the discussion section, we mainly discussed how to use the software. Transkribus is publishing many of models for languages of the West, but no model for Arabic at the present time, so we have to begin by inputting training data in order to make Transkribus recognize Arabic documents. At the same time, we shared the idea that Transkribus was very accurate to recognize text if it already had a compatible model.

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