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Put Crowdsourcing to Work for Your Library

Does your library need help transcribing manuscripts or radio broadcasts? Do you need help identifying people and places in photographs? Could you use a hand in finding constellations in historical celestial maps or identifying bird species in old prints? Then consider joining libraries, including our own UCLA Library, and other cultural heritage institutions in crowdsourcing this work via Zooniverse.

Zooniverse is the world’s largest platform supporting crowdsourced research. This non-profit Website hosts over 2 million volunteers working on more than 50 projects. Most projects involve transcribing records and manuscripts or identifying elements in pictures. However, a brief tour of Zooniverse shows that this versatile platform can handle almost any crowdsourcing assignment.

To get started with Zooniverse, check out the Zooniverse Project Builder guide. In it you’ll find clear instructions on uploading project materials, building project workflows and providing help for volunteers. At the same time, you’ll discover just how easy it is to put crowdsourcing to work for your library. So give it a try and let us know how Zooniverse worked for you.

By Dana Jemison and Judy Dobry