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 (https://digivol.ala.org.au/). 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 (http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Transcribe), WikiSource (https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Main_Page) and FromThePage (http://fromthepage.ersc.info). 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:
- From The Page (http://fromthepage.ersc.info)
- Digivol (http://digivol.ala.org.au)
- Transcribe Bentham (http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/transcribe-bentham/)
- Citizen Archivist (http://www.archives.gov/citizen-archivist/transcribe/)
- The Field Book Project (http://www.mnh.si.edu/rc/fieldbooks/)
- Operation War Diary (http://www.operationwardiary.org/)
- What’s on the Menu? (http://menus.nypl.org/)
- Pitch in! (http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/about-us/pitch-in/transcribe)
- Notes from Nature (http://www.notesfromnature.org/)
- Old Weather (http://www.oldweather.org/)
- Digital Daisy Bates Project (http://bates.org.au/)
- Prosecution Project (https://prosecutionproject.griffith.edu.au) etc.