My chapter ‘Museum crowdsourcing—detecting the limits: eMunch.no and the digitisation of letters addressed to Edvard Munch’ has now been published as part of The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites. Details below!
Joanna Iranowska, ‘Museum crowdsourcing—detecting the limits: eMunch.no and the digitisation of letters addressed to Edvard Munch’ in Hannah Lewi, Wally Smith, Dirk vom Lehn, Steven Cooke (eds), The Routledge International Handbook of New Digital Practices in Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums and Heritage Sites, London: Routledge, 2019, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429506765.
The Munch Museum in Oslo carried out a broadly based research project which, aimed to unlock access to literary works, notes, diaries and letters of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (www.emunch.no). This chapter discusses some aspects of producing of an electronic scholarly edition of letters addressed to the artist. Taking into consideration the huge workload (over 5,800 letters), and the newest trends in museum informatics and digital humanities, the museum decided to ask the public for assistance with the transcription process. Volunteers were invited to proofread and encode OCR-scanned transcriptions of letters through a digital Wikimedia platform. By crowdsourcing, the museum hoped to speed up the transcription process and minimize expenses. The article applies Actor-network theory approach to shed light on the benefits and limitations of engaging the public in a scholarly edition transcription project. It investigates the crowdsourcing project as a trail of associations between heterogeneous elements (Latour, 2007) and offer new, valuable insights concerning the challenges that GLAMs are frequently faced with in relation to contemplating making use of crowdsourcing. In this short case study, I followed and characterized the crucial actors who performed in the making of the scholarly edition. Specifically: eMunch.no, the letters, the editors, the wiki workplace and the volunteers. To follow the actors, I used different investigation techniques: interviews with the editors, analysis of documents, participant observation of the volunteers, online questionnaires and technical walkthroughs of the wiki workplace and eMunch.no.
Iranowska_.Author Accepted Version Green OA.pdf, 2019 (PDF)