I wanted to write this month about ChatGPT, and how archives are about as anti-ChatGPT as you can get. Archives can provide learning experiences that ChatGPT can’t fake. First, a simplification that’s useful in thinking about what ChatGPT (and its ilk) can – and can’t – do. ChatGPT is, in technical terms, a “large language model”. That means that the creators fed it massive … [Read more...] about Archives as an Antidote for ChatGPT
Trust in the Truth
Happy February. I thought I’d write about how transcription in the classroom could counter the challenges ChapGPT introduces, but then I ran across this quote from James Baldwin and decided to ruminate on transcribing the difficult parts of history: People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. Perhaps you're faced with the stark history of injustice -- … [Read more...] about Trust in the Truth
What is Meaningful Work?
As FromThePage matures, we’re getting a little more introspective. How do we keep the values we brought to this work as two scrappy software developers? If we add employees, how can we ensure they hold the same values we do? What are those values, anyway? (If you know – from observation – what we stand for, we’d love to hear it). We work on FromThePage, instead of our … [Read more...] about What is Meaningful Work?
What to Do When Your Transcribers Can’t Read Cursive
One of the common complaints I hear is that young volunteers or students can’t read cursive. While it’s true that many students are not taught cursive as part of their school curriculum, that isn't an insurmountable barrier to participating in a transcription project. The medieval and early modern transcription projects on FromThePage are written in scripts that no one uses … [Read more...] about What to Do When Your Transcribers Can’t Read Cursive
Top Tips from a Crowdsourcerer
We've worked with Meredith McDonough at the Alabama Department of Archives and History since 2018; you may have heard us talking about her very successful WWI Service Cards project -- 111,000 cards indexed in 2 1/2 months. We recently interviewed Meredith for our blog, and her advice is so great that I wanted to share it with you. On prioritizing projects: All the … [Read more...] about Top Tips from a Crowdsourcerer