Rock107: Handwriting by John Lennon, David Bowie & other music legends turned into downloadable fonts. “The new website is offering downloadable fonts based on the handwriting of several well-known late artists, including Lennon, Bowie, late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Leonard Cohen and French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.”
Atlas Obscura: Where Old, Unreadable Documents Go to Be Understood. “ON ANY GIVEN DAY, FROM her home on the Isle of Man, Linda Watson might be reading a handwritten letter from one Confederate soldier to another, or a list of convicts transported to Australia. Or perhaps she is reading a will, a brief from a long-forgotten legal case, an original Jane Austen manuscript. Whatever is in them, these documents made their way to her because they have one thing in common: They’re close to impossible to read.”
British Library: 8th Century Arabic science meets today’s computer science. “Supporting the use of Asian & African Collections in digital scholarship means shining a light on this stark divide and seeking ways to close the gap. In this spirit, we are excited to announce the ICFHR2018 Competition on Recognition of Historical Arabic Scientific Manuscripts.”
Digital Inspiration: Search your Handwritten Notes with Gmail OCR. “Gmail text search has always been very capable but some might not know that Gmail, like Evernote, also performs OCR on images contained in email messages. When you perform searches inside Gmail or Google Inbox, the results always contain matching images that contain the search keywords. I tried Gmail OCR search against different types of images and the results were fairly good. Text recognition in Gmail works for both image attachments as well as inline embedded images.”
Daily Sabah: Qurans by master calligraphers digitalized for new project. “From Quran copies by calligraphers Derviş Ali, Hüseyin Efendi, Kebecizade Mehmed Vasfi Efendi and Mustafa Hamid Boyabadi to paintings by Osman Hamdi Bey, Fausto Zonaro, Ivan Ayvazovski and Şeker Ahmed Paşa, Sakıp Sabancı Museum’s ambitious digitalization project digitalSSM brings together an impressive collection of manuscripts and paintings.” The Web site is at digitalssm.org. And while there is an “English” button on it for navigating, I found I got more information by letting Google translate each page.
History for All the People, from the State Archives of North Carolina, is doing a series on how to interpret handwriting. “Since beginning my work with digitizing the General Assembly Session Records collection at the State Archives, I have had to do a bit of research on how to effectively interpret 18th century manuscripts in order create the appropriate metadata for the records and improve discoverability of these records in our digital collection. The following sections include a brief history of writing during this time period, characteristics of 17th and 18th century British-American handwriting, and some tips on deciphering the text found within these records. This is the first blog post of a series on how to read handwritten colonial documents.”