Each session will be led by a member of the international IMPACT (Improving Access to Text) project, a large-scale integrating project funded by the European Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). One of the aims of the project is to develop tools that help improve OCR results for historical printed texts. The presenters are therefore well placed to provide information and advice on the current state-of-the-art in text digitisation tools and techniques, and in particular on OCR technologies.
Aly Conteh is the Digitisation Programme Manager at the British Library, a post he took up in April 2003. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the policies, workflows and standards which govern digitisation of items from the Library’s vast collections. He has been involved in many digitisation projects at the British Library including projects to digitise 25 million pages of 19th Century books and 4 million pages of pre-1900 newspapers and hundreds of manuscript volumes. He serves on the Executive Board for the IMPACT project, a large-scale integrating project funded by the European Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). He is as a member of the European Commission’s Member States’ Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital Preservation.
Neil Fitzgerald has been the IMPACT Delivery Manager for the British Library since June 2008. Prior to this he led the Microsoft Digitisation Project – a public/private partnership to digitise and OCR 25 million pages of mostly 19th century books. He has worked for the BL since 2002 in a variety of roles delivering both on-demand and project based imaging services. Before joining the BL he worked in the commercial imaging sector.
Günter Mühlberger, PhD, is Head of the Department for Digitisation and Digital Preservation of Innsbruck University Library. His professional experience includes the role of coordinator and project manager of several R&D projects from the 4th and 5th EU Framework Programme, for example, Project Coordinator of the METADATA ENGINE project (2000-2003). He publishes and lectures on digitisation issues and is Project Manager of several national projects, including Austrian Literature Online (one of the largest digital repositories in Austria) and the Innsbrucker Zeitungsarchiv. He is currently also acting as coordinator of a multinational network with 14 partners from 9 European countries for a Digitisation on Demand service.
Apostolos Antonacopoulos is currently the 1st Vice-President of the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IAPR) and heads the Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis (PRImA) research laboratory in the School of Computing, Science and Engineering at the University of Salford. He received his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 1995. Dr Antonacopoulos has worked and published extensively on various problems in Document Analysis and in Pattern Recognition and applications. For his “outstanding service in the field and his innovative research on the analysis of historical documents”, he received the IAPR/ICDAR Young Investigator Award in 2005. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition where he has also co-edited a special issue on the Analysis of Historical Documents. He has significant experience in leading and participating in national, European (FP7 and earlier) and industry-sponsored projects.
Michael Day is Research Officer in the Research and Development team at UKOLN, based at the University of Bath (UBAH). Since joining the university in 1996, he has worked on a series of externally funded research projects relating to metadata and resource description, semantic interoperability and digital preservation.
Christoph Ringlstetter obtained his Masters in computational linguistics with Minors in computing science and psychology from the University of Munich in 2004. From then until 2006, he worked as a researcher/lecturer at the Center for Information and Language Processing (CIS), University of Munich on a project for the German Research Foundation (DFG). He finished his Ph.D. in computational linguistics at the University of Munich in July 2006. From 2006 – 2008, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Alberta Ingenuity Center for Machine Learning (AICML), University of Alberta, Canada. He joined IMPACT in May 2008. His current research interests are mainly centered on the areas of corpus linguistics, document post-processing, information retrieval, and semantic search.
Emma Huber completed her MSc in Library and Information Science in December 2008, with a distinction for her dissertation on the use of the Early English Books Online database in research. From 2002 to 2009, she was a “Text Encoding Reviewer” at the Oxford Digital Library, working primarily on preparing fully searchable encoded text for Early English Books Online (EEBO-TCP), but also advising other projects on using XML (usually TEI) to create searchable text. Most recently she was Oxford’s project coordinator for the JISC/NEH-funded “Shakespeare Quartos Archive”. She joined IMPACT in May 2009.