[MGI27-P10] Minna de Honkoku: online transcription project of earthquake-related historical documents
Keywords: Historical earhtquake, Digital Humanities, Web application, Crowdsourcing
The study of historical earthquake is based on historical documents. In Japan, almost all of the documents are written in Kuzushi-ji. Kujzushi-ji is writing style used before ~1900. Since the style is different from that of modern Japanese, transcription is necessary to use the historical documents as data for earthquake research. Catalogs of historical records such as “New collection of materials for the history of Japanese earthquakes” has been published and used for earthquake research. Although huge number of historical documents survives, the majority of the documents left untranscribed.
We loaded 114 historical documents included in the Ishimoto correction in Earthquake Research Institute Library, the University of Tokyo. We planned to start the transcription project with historical document describing past earthquakes on “Minna de Honkoku”, although the application can be used for any type of historical document.
“Minna de Honkoku” consists of viewer of document image and vertical (Japanese-style) editor for transcription. Users can input transcribed texts viewing its image. The ranking of words transcribed is displayed to keep motivation of users. The edit history and online bulletin board are implemented to enhance communication between users. The application is inked to Kuzushi-ji Learning Application, KuLA developed by Osaka University.
Transcription has been completed for 29 documents out of total 114 documents in 3 weeks. Total number of inputted character is about 700,000.
To finish the transcription of 114 earthquake-related historical document is the main goal of the project. I addition, the Web-based project may attract people who are not interested in local earthquake history and natural disaster.