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.
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.
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?