Metadata Transcription

Our metadata transcription service provides an efficient solution for archivists and collection holders that are looking to capture handwritten data within their digital archive collections and convert it into searchable (machine readable) textual metadata.

Transcription and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Example Of Our Transcription Service

Improve access with our Metadata Transcription service

Transcribing the data contained within digitised images into digital text allows the text to be stored as descriptive metadata fields associated with the corresponding digital image. These metadata fields can then be searched against using keywords via an archive website or digital archive management system, making the data far more accessible and finding particular records lightning fast.

For example, if you hold a collection of handwritten burial registers, you might have the collection digitised and choose to have the forename, surname, gender, and year of death information, for each record transcribed.

Using our software you could then instantaneously search for records against any or all of those fields, such as searching for all records of males with the surname “Kyle” that died in the year 1939. This can make answering enquiries virtually effortless.

Another example could be if you hold a photograph collection and the photographs feature handwritten annotations, such as the year the photograph was taken, the location, and the people featured in the image. This data could be transcribed to enable searching for all images featuring a particular person or all images of a specific landmark.

The Transcription Process

Each transcription project is carried out by one of our skilled transcription team. Upon completion the transcribed data is then spot checked by another team member and checked using our unique validation software to mitigate the chance of errors as much as possible (see below).

As we specialise in digitising very old and unique collections, our operators are experienced in transcribing handwriting from a variety of archival documents, which frequently pre-date the typewriter and even the printing press. This makes our team adept at recognising different writing styles, from turn of the century calligraphy to modern hand writing.

File formats and accessing the Transcribed Data

We can produce output files in any format you specify, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, Text or CSV.

We can help you import the data into your own systems, alternatively we can import the data into our systems. Take a look at our PC based Viewing Software or our Internet based TWA PastView System, which allows you to link the transcribed data to your digitised images.

If you are interested in displaying your data or images online for the public to view then we also offer web design service and can build a website to showcase your collections.

Outstanding data capture accuracy

Once data has been transcribed we use bespoke validation software, which cross-checks your transcribed data against thousands of other records that TWA have transcribed in the past, to highlight and correct any potential errors (even errors in forenames, surnames, and location names).

This unique software, together with our human spot checking process, allows us to offer an average accuracy of 95%.

Can handwritten text be scanned using OCR instead of transcription?

Whilst our OCR scanning service can be very accurate when converting printed type text into digital format, in our experience the accuracy of OCR on handwritten text is very poor. For this reason, when looking to capture hand written text we always recommend our transcription services.

Find out more about our Metadata Transcription service

If you would like to learn more about transcription services from TownsWeb Archiving contact us by phone (+44) 01536 713834, email or our enquiry form.