Smithsonian Seeking Volunteers to Digitize Objects

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WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian Institution wants the public’s help to digitize museum collections faster to make them available to researchers online.

On Tuesday, the museum complex will begin recruiting online volunteers to transcribe artifact text to make objects searchable.

The Smithsonian has been testing its online Transcription Center with 1,000 volunteers over the past year. Organizers say they completed more than 13,000 pages of transcription in much less time than it would take museum workers alone.

One of the key projects is a rapid digitization of one of the world’s largest bumble bee collections at the National Museum of Natural History. Information on each of the 45,000 specimens is written on tiny labels. Now the labels are being transcribed make them more accessible to scientists studying the decline of bees.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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