May 21, 2022

EU Project: Our Handwritten Past, Automatically Transcribed (READ/Transkribus)

From the EC:

Different scripts, difficult layout, diverse languages and linguistic variants… until very recently, says Günter Mühlberger of the University of Innsbruck, it was barely imaginable that a historical manuscript might one day be searchable in much the same way as a contemporary document.

And yet, this seemingly impossible dream has come true following breakthroughs within the past five years or so, he explains.

Mühlberger is the coordinator of the EU-funded e-infrastructure project READ. ‘We have achieved fundamental progress in the domains of handwritten text recognition, layout analysis and keyword spotting,’ he reports.

READ provides a growing community of users with access to innovative technology and thereby with an easier way to explore an important part of European and international cultural heritage.

‘We are the only research infrastructure that makes these technologies directly available worldwide to anyone with an interest in historical documents,’ Mühlberger notes. Known as Transkribus, the service platform developed by members of the READ consortium builds on earlier work in predecessor project Transcriptorium.

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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.