Could You Sub-Edit Charles Dickens?

By M@ Last edited 154 months ago

Last Updated 03 August 2011

Could You Sub-Edit Charles Dickens?

7 February 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth. Needless to say, we're going to be hearing a fair bit about the novelist between now and the Olympics.

Fans with a keen eye for detail can now help digitise some of his works. For many years, Dickens edited a couple of journals: Household Words and All the Year Round. Neither has been comprehensively republished, and many contributions from Dickens are only available in restricted or offline archives.

Over the past five years, the Dickens Journal Online site has sought to correct this by scanning in the entire collection. To make the resource searchable, these images have been converted to text via optical character recognition. You can now search the collected magazines (all 30,000 pages) to find out what Dickens and his authors thought about your part of town. Try it.

The text conversion process is not perfect, however, with 5-25 errors per page. This is where you could help. The project is seeking volunteers to read through the transcriptions and correct the errors. The team are about 8% of the way through, but reckon they can finish in time for the big anniversary with a little crowdsourced editing.

So, go on. It's a worthwhile project and you'll get to boast that you've copyedited Dickens.