Working with historians and other scholars, we learned that libraries, museums, and other
organizations are increasingly digitizing historical primary sources and putting them
online. However, for a scholar looking for documents related to their topics of interest,
searching these archives can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. We recognized an
opportunity to leverage crowdsourcing technologies to help these historians find what
they’re looking for. With Incite, citizen archivists learn historical inquiry skills while
annotating primary sources with help from natural language processing technology. They
go beyond transcription, providing deeper analysis through tagging, connecting, and
discussing documents that make it easy for scholars to find what they’re looking for.
Several institutions and scholars are already
using Incite to build, annotate, and research
digital archives. These projects represent our
growing community of users, educators, and
historians and illustrate the diverse
possibilities that Incite could offer you.
Fourth of July
Use Incite to analyze your digital archives of primary sources. Citizen
archivists allow users to transcribe digitized documents to make them
searchable; tag people, locations, organizations and events with help from
natural language processing tools; connect documents to high-level concepts
of interest; and discuss their discoveries in context.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Meet the Team
Paul QuigleyPROJECT DIRECTORThe James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War Studies and director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, housed in the Virginia Tech History Department.
Kurt LutherPROJECT DIRECTORAssistant professor of Computer Science
at Virginia Tech, where he is also a member
of the Center for Human-Computer
Interaction and the Institute for Creativity,
Arts, and Technology
David HicksPROJECT DIRECTORAssociate professor of history and social
science education (Social Studies) in
Virginia Tech’s School of Education
Nai-Ching WangLEAD DEVELOPER AND DESIGNERPhD student of Computer Science at Virginia Tech.
Julia RaterDESIGNERUndergraduate student of Visual Communication Design at Virginia Tech.
Liyan LiDEVELOPERUndergraduate student of Computer
Science at Virginia Tech.
Andrea Ogier, Steven Tatum, and Edwin Brooks, all from the Virginia Tech University Libraries, contribute expertise in data management, the Omeka platform, and GIS mapping. Other student contributors: Kevin Caprice, Daniel Newcomb, Amit Dayal, Vijay Kuruvilla, Jayanth Prathipati, Seth Nute, Abby Jetmundsen, and So Hyun Jo.