May 16, 2022

Digital Humanities: Conference Paper: “Crowdsourcing Performing Arts History with NYPL’s ENSEMBLE”

Here’s a new conference paper by Doug Reside from the New York Public Library. He’ll formally present the paper (tomorrow, July 11, 2014) at Digital Humanities 2014 in Lausanne, France.


Crowdsourcing Performing Arts History with NYPL’s ENSEMBLE


Doug Reside
New York Public Library


Digital Humanities 2014 Web Site

From the Introduction

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts holds in its collection over one million programs documenting a large number of the major theater, music, and dance events performed around the country since the end of the Civil War. Although the collection grows each month, the Library estimates that it currently holds approximately 125,000 dance, 400,000 music, and over one million theater programs.


In early 2013, motivated both by our responsibility to preserve these artifacts and out of a desire to better expose the data they contain, we launched an effort to create digital images of our program collection and organize a crowd-sourced effort to transcribe and structure the information contained within it.  The project, launched in beta under the name Ensemble in June of 2013, is now part of a new NEH-funded Digital Humanities Implementation grant to create tools for crowd-sourced transcription projects.  This paper will discuss the lessons the team learned from the beta release as well as the modifications we are planning for the upcoming full release in 2014.

Direct to Full Text Paper (approx 1300 Words)

Direct to NYPL’s ENSEMBLE Project Website
ENSEMBLE is a project of NYPL Labs

Direct to @ensemblenypl

Direct to @DougReside

See Also: More Papers From Digital Humanities 2014

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.