This paper examines the specific strategies for recruitment and retention of volunteer
transcribers in use in two collaborative transcription projects: Transcribe Bentham (University
College, London) and the Estoria de Espanna Digital Project (University of Birmingham).
The aim of the paper is to review the strategies used by Transcribe Bentham, a more
mature crowdsourced electronic transcription project, with a view to informing the
strategies put into place in the Estoria project, which has started transcribing using
crowdsourcing more recently. The paper discusses the difficulties faced by crowdsourced
electronic transcription projects and how these have been and are being resolved in
these two projects. The difficulties discussed include the complexity of the palaeography
involved, the necessity of tagging transcriptions using XML, the requirement to moderate
and carry out quality-control of volunteer-produced transcriptions, and the creation
of an atmosphere of camaraderie amongst staff-members and crowdsourcers, many of whom
have never, and will never meet face-to-face. The findings may be useful for other
collaborative electronic transcription projects and will inform and shape the way
theEstoria project continues to use strategies to raise levels of recruitment and
retention of crowdsourced transcribers.