Making the 18th century accessible

Transkribus is a platform developed to do automated recognition, transcription and searching of historical documents. Users share models on the platform. However, a model for 18th century Danish handwriting has been missing. 

The research project Making the 18th century accessible therefore trained a model to be able to machine-read 18th century handwritten documents. The Transkribus model was named 18C Danish Administrative Writing, and after successful training it was able to read a variety of 18th Century handwritings with an accuracy around 95%, thus allowing for large scale analysis of Danish 18th century sources and enable researchers to ask new questions. 

Accessing the collection through a digital platform

The second part of the project, funded by Carlsberg, was to build a digital platform in which these documents are searchable and easy to access. The platform created by Center for Humanities Computing also allowed for documents to be proofread and annotated.

Associate Professor of History at Aarhus University, Nina Koefoed, is head of the project which is part of one of the larger research projects in LUMEN, Lutheranism, and societal development in Denmark. Visit the LUMEN blog for the full story about the project.

Project affiliation


The project is funded by a research infrastructure grant of DKK 341.508 from the Carlsberg Foundation

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