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Abstract

This paper discusses Deciphering Secrets, a large-scale transcription project linked to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to teach Spanish paleography and the SILReST paleography method. It also addresses issues of accuracy, particularly how connecting crowdsourced transcription to class assignments will increase the accuracy of transcriptions and quickly make available to the scholarly community many manuscript transcriptions from the cathedral chapters of Burgos, Plasencia, and Toledo. It discusses the refinement of editorial techniques in migration of archival materials to digital format, creating standards for text encoding, and postulates the next steps of building databases. The paper then shows how new knowledge came to light through the transcription process and highlights possibilities for future research. Moreover, crowdsourcing makes students active participants in the creation and preservation of cultural materials. It engages students – making history and the humanities more relevant to them.

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