A revolution has slowly begun in the study of historical documents: Machine Learning tools have been developed to allow for the automatic transcription of documents. Over the last decade, these tools can now help assist in the production of texts from medieval manuscripts at previously unobtainable levels of accuracy. Today, libraries have used these tools to make their collections searchable, while researchers have sped up the process of creating editions of texts and adopted them for the study of medieval documents.
The course will offer an introduction into some of these ongoing projects, but more importantly provide an introduction into the practice of studying medieval documents with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technologies. The course will have two main parts: 4 online sessions and a three-day in person workshop in Vienna. During the first phase, participants will be introduced to both the theory of handwritten text recognition and its practical application using the Transkribus (transkribus.eu) tool. We will then work in four groups, focusing on four different periods and languages: Carolingian Latin, late medieval Latin, late medieval German, and late medieval Czech. Each group will have its own supervisor and its goal will be to train an HTR model for each type of writing.
During the in-person workshop in Vienna, we will finalize the four projects and publish our results online: both the transcriptions and Handwritten Text Recognition models. Additionally, we will also visit libraries in Vienna to see selected manuscripts in person. Finally, we will test other machine learning tools for their automatic transcription outcomes and use other digital tools. The course will be taught by a team of experts in HTR, medieval manuscript studies and Latin, German and Czech philology. At the end of the course, you will receive a certificate.
More information about the course, requirements and deadline in the attached document.