Transcription Projects

Our current manuscript transcription efforts

Overview

Deciphering Secrets facilitates the transcription of medieval and early modern Spanish manuscripts that pertain to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence. Our efforts utilize crowdsourcing, via regularly taught Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and stand-alone websites, to prepare the initial draft transcriptions of manuscripts. Subsequently, we are assembling a scholarly team to assess and finalize transcriptions for publication in online and traditional venues.

We are seeking collaborators -- historians, language specialists, and database specialists

Among the most challenging elements of crowdsourcing documents is transforming draft transcriptions into finalized transcriptions. We are seeking the following collaborators:

  • Historians with Spanish-language reading expertise.
  • Language and literature specialists.
  • Professional and academic specialists with technical skills with data management and display expertise.

If you are intrigued, please contact Prof. Dr. Roger L. Martinez -Davila at rogmarti@inst.uc3m.es. Most importantly, we are seeking good, decent people who work well with others. Thanks!

Summer 2014
University of Colorado System – Coursera.org
Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain MOOC
  • 10,600+ students enrolled in the course.
  • 2,500+ MOOC students participated in the transcription of the 19th century copy of the 600+ page Book One (1399-1453) of the Capitulary Acts of the Cathedral of Plasencia (Spain). Approximately 90% of the entire text was transcribed.
  • Transcriptions were recorded in a SQL database. Presently, we are seeking technical assistance with re-assembling the transcriptions into a page-sequential copy of the text.
  • Presently, one graduate student is finalizing a master’s thesis pertaining to women’s lives using selections of the SQL database files.
Spring 2016
University of Colorado System – Coursera.org
Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain MOOC
  • 6,000+ students enrolled in the course.
  • To generate additional transcriptions, of the 19th century copy of the 600+ page Book One (1399-1453) of the Capitulary Acts of the Cathedral of Plasencia (Spain), another session of the MOOC was offered.
  • 1,400 students participated in transcription efforts.
  • Transcriptions were recorded in a SQL database. Presently, we are seeking technical assistance with re-assembling the transcriptions into a page-sequential copy of the text.
Summer 2016
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid – edX.org
Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos MOOC
  • 1,700+ students enrolled in the course.
  • 250+/- MOOC students participated in the transcription of the 13th, 14th and 15th century manuscripts from the Archivo de la Catedral de Burgos and the Archivo Municipal de Burgos.
  • Transcriptions were recorded in discussion forums and now are preserved in Microsoft Word documents.
Spring 2017
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid – edX.org
Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Burgos MOOC
  • 1,400+ students enrolled in the course.
  • 200+/- MOOC students participated in the transcription of the 13th, 14th and 15th century manuscripts from the Archivo de la Catedral de Burgos and the Archivo Municipal de Burgos.
  • Transcriptions were recorded in discussion forums and now are preserved in Microsoft Word documents.
Fall 2017
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid – edX.org
Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Toledo MOOC
  • 1,300+ students enrolled in the course.
  • 200+/- MOOC students participated in the transcription of the 13th, 14th and 18th/19th century manuscripts from the Archivo y Biblioteca de la Catedral de Toledo, Archivo Municipal de Toledo, and the Archivo Historico de la Nobleza (Toledo).
  • The course is presently open and will end on November 26, 2017.