Introducing the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit

Today is an important day for participation and innovation in the federal government. The White House officially launched the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit, a tool that provides information and resources to help federal agencies use the power of public participation to help solve scientific and societal problems.

The launch of this toolkit solidifies the White House’s commitment to advancing the culture of innovation, learning, sharing and doing in the federal community. Through crowdsourcing, we can create approaches to educate, engage, and empower citizens to apply their curiosity and talents to a wide range of real-world problems.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Addresses Crowd at the White House Easter Egg Roll, 4/14/1941. National Archives Identifier 17343446
Franklin D. Roosevelt Addresses Crowd at the White House Easter Egg Roll, 4/14/1941. National Archives Identifier 17343446

Crowdsourcing is not new for us. Back in 2010, the Archivist of the United States introduced the concept of the Citizen Archivist, an effort to engage researchers, educators, historians and the public and provide them with the tools and support necessary to contribute their talents, knowledge and creativity to the mission of the National Archives.

Since then, we have worked hard to create opportunities for citizens to make substantive individual contributions to the records of the National Archives, making those records more accessible to the public.

With more than 12 billion pages of textual records, it’s clear that our mission to “Make Access Happen” would not be possible without the help of our citizen archivists. Each day, we are grateful for our citizen contributors who help make our holdings more discoverable by tagging and transcribing items in our online catalog, subtitling historical videos on Amara, and scanning records in our new Innovation Hub.

We are pleased to be featured as a case study in the White House’s new toolkit, with acknowledgment of the Citizen Archivist Dashboard as a demonstrated success story in federal crowdsourcing.

Citizen Archivist Dashboard Case Study

In support of today’s event at the White House, we’ve created a special “science takeover” in our Citizen Archivist Dashboard. Here you will find several new tagging missions, all containing science-related records from the National Archives.

And while you are there, take a look at the many other ways you can get involved. From tagging missions to transcribing documents, scanning photos to subtitling videos, there is a way for everyone to participate and contribute.

We would love to hear your ideas for how we can continue to expand the dashboard. As a citizen archivist, how do you see yourself contributing your knowledge and talents to the National Archives?

2 thoughts on “Introducing the Federal Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Toolkit

  1. What a worthwhile endeavor. Glad to hear that the term crowd sourcing is not just reserved for people trying to find funding for strange business ideas. It is great to harness the collective expertise of the community in terms of science and public affairs. I would certainly say that myself and others in my position would be interested in tagging documents that i have personal experience of.

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