Transcription tools used in digital humanities projects are almost as varied as the projects themselves. Most are more complex than a simple free text field for transcribers to type into. Some are excellent for fielded data; for instance, Digivol ( Some facilitate volunteers with formatting tools to mark up their transcribed text. Transcribe Bentham uses TEI XML tags; WikiSource uses a special syntax called Wikitext or Wiki markup.

Some transcription tools also allow annotations, allowing transcribers to make use of wiki-style syntax to tag key words within the text, such as names of people, places or species e.g. the Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) semantic wiki (, WikiSource ( and FromThePage ( The tags can be labelled to separate different types of data, The tags can be labelled to separate different types of data, e.g [location], [taxon], [date] and the tagged terms can then be extracted to form a data set.


The Tinker team conducted an evaluation of three separate transcription tools for use within the Tinker environment.

Many organisations around the world are using crowd-sourced tools to successfully transcribe hand-written material online.  Some examples of transcription projects using online volunteers include: