We helped the NSW State Library build an award-winning transcription editing platform.

Finished in just 4 weeks and ready for launch, we helped realise a project the State Library had been working on for over a year to engage online volunteers to transcribe their historical sound archive collection.

State library hero
The expertise, the direct communication with the developer and the seamless project management has been fantastic.
Jenna Bain, Digital Projects Leader, NSW State Library

What We Did & How We Did It

Finished in just 4 weeks and ready for launch, we helped realise a project the State Library had been working on for over a year to engage online volunteers to transcribe their historical sound archive collection.

NSW State Library had been investigating opportunities to engage online volunteers to help with the transcription of over 11,000 hours of historical sound archive collections. An ongoing initiative of the Library had enabled them to create digital versions of their sound collection but finding a way to deliver time-coded transcripts for each recording was important in ensuring the collection was truly accessible.

As a non-profit institution, it was not affordable to pay for a human transcription service. So crowdsourcing for volunteers to help with transcription offered a sustainable way to achieve the task. It had the added benefit of giving people an opportunity to engage with the library collections in a previously impossible manner.

The State Library of NSW conducted extensive research to find out what sound collection platforms were already available for transcribing and delivering audio transcripts, and although they found quite a few, the most suited was the New York Public Library’s Transcript Editor.

Most of that platform is written in Ruby on Rails which is open-source, with 70-80% of their codebase matching the State Library’s requirements. It made sense to modify and customise the New York Public Library’s existing codebase rather than try to reinvent the wheel. Due to the limited capacity of internal resources and the fact that the Library was venturing into a new technology space, a Ruby on Rails agency was required for this project.

After researching agencies, the Library decided to engage reinteractive due to our enthusiasm about the project and our quick response to the Library’s brief. There was a strict timeline for the project as funding had been granted but needed to be spent before the end of the financial year, giving us a limited time frame to make magic happen!

The expertise, the direct communication with the developer and the seamless project management has been fantastic. Although I wasn’t familiar with Ruby on Rails, reinteractive really put me at ease.
Jenna Bain, Digital Projects Leader
NSW State Library

The Solution

reinteractive kicked off the project with the project manager and one of our lead developers, mapping out the build requirements. The scope included the “must have”, “would be great” and the “if we can get to it” priorities.

One of the desired customisations was a ‘play all’ function so that people would have the ability to listen to a full audio recording before committing to any transcription. That feature plus others are unique to the State Library’s installation, built as added functionality on top of the already robust and feature-rich platform developed by the New York Public Library.

Another key feature of the project was to link up existing computer-generated transcripts with the new platform. VoiceBase was used to produce machine-read transcripts that are 70-80% accurate, which are then uploaded to the platform to be reviewed and corrected by the public as required. Once enough people have corrected each line of the transcript and made the same changes, a consensus is calculated and that line is marked as finalised.

Every single feature outlined in the project scope was achieved with ease, which was a surprise and a major achievement for the Library. They were able to break patterns and work with an unfamiliar agency and have a delightfully positive experience.

We were really surprised that everything in the scope, even the things we thought may not be possible, were completed - it just wasn’t a problem for the developer. It means we are able to promote our collections and the new transcripts like we have never been able to do before. That is a game-changer for us and will ultimately enrich the Library’s collections by making them more accessible, searchable and discoverable.
Jenna Bain, Digital Projects Leader
NSW State Library

The Benefits

  • Transcription editing platform completed in just 4 weeks ready for launch, enabling the State Library of NSW to realise a project they had been working on for over a year
  • Achieving 100% of the initial scope within budget
  • Ability to create a new dataset of accurate transcripts for a historical sound collection
  • Creating an opportunity to generate more interest in and engagement with the Library’s rich sound archive.

We sorted the finer logistics for the Adelaide Fringe Festival

reinteractive created a bespoke Artist & Venue Registration system for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in time for their Annual festival. The Adelaide Fringe Featival is the largest open access arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, boasting an enormous program and reaching a broad demographic.

Adelaide fringe hero
We didn’t want a platform that would 'just work'. We wanted a high-quality solution that was going to serve us for many years to come. reinteractive was very thorough and committed to our vision. It was not just a case of 'bang it together and make it work'. They really put in the effort to understand what our business was about and what our needs were, so they could deliver on it. reinteractive ticked every box plus a lot more.
Heather Croall, CEO, Adelaide Fringe Festival

Our Services

We build stable, well-tested software, built with Ruby on Rails and Javascript. reinteractive provides a complete solution from project scoping, to UX, design, web and mobile development, through to hosting and maintenance. All driven by our seamless, agile project management processes.

We are experts at large, complex and customised solutions. Bring us your ideas, wish list, integration problem or technical need and we will solve it.

  • AppWorkshop - Consultation & Project Scoping

    We work hard to find the right digital solution for you. Through our AppWorkshop we work with you to identify opportunities and engage in expert planning for business-critical applications. The aim is to get your application delivered and operating as fast as possible, with the viewpoint of incrementally adding features as the site matures and grows.

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  • User Experience (UX) Design
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  • Ruby on Rails Upgrade Support
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AppWorkshop - Consultation & Project Scoping

We work hard to find the right digital solution for you. Through our AppWorkshop we work with you to identify opportunities and engage in expert planning for business-critical applications. The aim is to get your application delivered and operating as fast as possible, with the viewpoint of incrementally adding features as the site matures and grows.

Learn more about AppWorkshop - Consultation & Project Scoping

Our Guarantee to You

If you are not completely happy with the result of your bespoke development project when we are done, we will give you $10,000 worth of our development time, at no charge, to make it right.

Our OpsCare® and CodeCare® services also have their own simple one month refund and guarantee which you can read in our Terms of Use.

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