The British Library’s collection of Arabic manuscripts is internationally recognised as one of the largest and finest in Europe and North America, comprising almost 15,000 works in some 14,000 volumes. Since 2012, the Library, in partnership with The Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Library, has digitised and made freely available over 950,000 images and counting, featuring the cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region, on Qatar Digital Library (QDL).
Ranging from the early eighth century CE to the nineteenth century, the manuscripts are drawn from both Arab countries and other countries with Arab or Muslim communities including India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and West Africa, and they display fascinating variations in style and script.
As part of this project we would like to pose a challenge focusing on finding an optimal solution for accurately and automatically transcribing our vast and growing digital archive of historical Arabic scientific handwritten manuscripts within the QDL. Our aim is to improve accessibility of this rich content by enabling full-text search and discovery, as well as enabling large-scale text analysis.
Go to the Competition Website for more information.