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The National Archives participate in the international READ (Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents) project.

The aim of the project is to provide a service (virtual research environment), which gathers together expertise and technologies in automated handwritten text recognition, archive materials and the users of archives.

The service will promote the further development of automated handwritten text recognition, and it is possible that at the end of the project we have managed to develop a tool for recognising handwritten text.

Part of Horizon 2020 programme

The duration of the project is three and a half years between 1 January 2016 and 30 June 2019. The project is a part of the European Commission -funded Horizon 2020 programme and it has a budget of approximately 8.2 million euros. The National Archives’ share of this is approximately 510,000 euros. The other partners in the project are largely from Central Europe (Austria, Germany) and England. The majority of project partners are research institutions and universities.

The role of the National Archives in the project is to work as an archive with large volume of digitised handwritten archive materials. The duties of the National Archives focus on developing the new service to suit its customers and architecture. Piloting the service large digitised handwritten materials and user volume is also the duty of the National Archives.

In performing these duties, we will elicit participation from our customers both to support development and to making recognition of handwritten text possible.

Plans will be clarified when the project is launched and as it progresses, so changes to what has been said above are possible all through the project.

More information about the READ project is available at the website of the European Commission.

For further information, please contact:

Vili Haukkovaara, Development Manager, the National Archives, tel. +358 29 533 7019,