Monday, March 23, 2015

Help us Improve Access to Seed and Nursery Catalogs!

In celebration of our Garden Stories event, we've released some of our seed catalogs for transcription as part of our Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded Purposeful Gaming project. Seed catalogs are notoriously difficult subjects for Optical Character Recognition software (OCR) to parse (which produces searchable text files of digitized images), so searching the text of online vintage seed catalogs is often problematic. The picturesque fonts and elaborate page layouts so endearingly characteristic of seed catalogs cause the resulting OCR output to be error prone and less than least up to now.

You can help us improve access to these valuable gardening resources by transcribing seed and nursery catalogs. Here's a helpful tutorial to get you started

A selection of catalogs digitized by The New York Botanical Garden as part of the Purposeful Gaming project were chosen for inclusion in our transcription sites because they contain text over/interspersed with images, difficult formatting, and hard-to-read scientific names. Selections include:

  • Choice flower seeds 1908Reason chosen: Numerous illustrations interspersed with text; OCR had difficulty rendering scientific names 
Choice Flower Seeds 1908. White, Emma V.
  • Choice flower seeds 1914. Reason chosen: Some examples of text over illustrations, numerous illustrations interspersed with text 
Choice Flower Seeds 1914. White, Emma V.
1917 Hardy Perennials for California Gardens. Purdy, Carl.

Wholesale List of the F.&F. Nurseries. no. 5 (1882).
  • Floral gems (1922 Year Book). Reason chosen: Example of text over illustration; many scientific names
1922 Year Book: Floral Gems. McGregor Bros. Co.

Help us improve access to these lovely seed and nursery catalogs by transcribing them. Share your discoveries with us by commenting on this post or posting on Twitter or Facebook with #BHLinbloom!

Happy Transcribing!

More Garden Stories Fun

No comments:

Post a Comment