28 October 2014

Join the Hive & the New York Times in a New Crowdsourcing Project


Crowdsourcing projects are always neat & fun!

The most recent large-scale one I’ve heard about involves The New York Times. NYT asks readers to help identify print ads, using a platform for crowdsourcing called Hive.

The New York Times’ research and development lab has launched a new project asking readers for help in identifying old advertisements from its print archive — and the project is the first to be built on a new open-source platform for crowdsourcing called Hive

When you visit the Madison interface you can jump right into finding, tagging and /or transcribing ads.  Here is some context for the genesis of the project.

The digitization of our archives has primarily focused on news articles, thus the ads have no metadata (company names, product categories, ad text, etc.) that would allow for either discovery or research. Madison invites Times readers to explore the past through these advertisements, and to contribute to the archive by finding, tagging, and even transcribing ads. Your contributions will aid researchers and projects both inside and outside of The New York Times for years to come.


Ads do contain fascinating information, not just for social context and also possibly about the very ancestors you are researching.  I have researched many individuals who have placed advertisements in the newspaper about their business.  I’ve learned about their business, where is was located, when it went out of business (if it did), where it moved (if expanding), taking on a partner, etc.

Now that we’ve discovered our insatiable appetite for newspaper content, let’s help make sure that we have access to ALL newspaper content and not just the articles.





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