May 21, 2022

New Functionality: Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) Partners Can Now Upload Crowdsourced Transcriptions of Digitized Archival Materials

From a Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) Blog Post:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has added functionality to allow BHL Partners to upload transcriptions in place of the automatically-generated OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for archival materials digitized in BHL. This functionality supports transcriptions generated as part of Partner crowdsourcing projects on Smithsonian Transcription CenterDigiVol, and From the Page.


With this new functionality, these transcriptions can now be uploaded in place of the automatically-generated OCR for these items, allowing them to be full-text searchable and enabling our taxonomic name recognition software to index scientific names within their pages. Since the transcribed text can be viewed alongside the digitized page image, users can also more easily read materials with difficult-to-decipher handwriting. Thus, this new functionality makes it easier for researchers and the public to explore these valuable primary source materials and access specific information from their pages.


Participating Partners have begun uploading transcriptions to BHL. To date, transcriptions have been uploaded from Partner crowdsourcing projects with BHL Australia, Ernst Mayr Library of Harvard University, The New York Botanical Garden, and Smithsonian Institution Archives. This is an ongoing process, and more transcriptions will be uploaded to the Library over time.

Interested in transcribing archival materials? Several BHL Partners have active transcription projects on various crowdsourcing platforms. Follow the links below to explore the opportunities and get involved:

Learn More, Read the Complete Blog Post

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.