SKILLNET – Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks


Karen Hollewand

CEMROL: The First Results

On 14 December 2018 we launched CEMROL, SKILLNET’s very own crowdsourcing platform, at the Universiteitsmuseum in Utrecht. Since that day a lot has happened. An enthusiastic group of volunteers has started marking and transcribing early modern letters and we have tried our best to perfect the platform behind the scenes. There is still much work to be done, but it is about time that we share some first results.

We are proud and happy to report that a small but active group of volunteers has consistently engaged with the early modern editions of letters on the platform. In the month of February 2019, 76 unique users marked or transcribed letters and over the last three months more than 226 sessions were undertaken. During these sessions, which sometimes lasted for more than six hours in a row, the volunteers contributed between 1 and 2600 classifications at a time (with one classification being equal to one item marked or the transcription of one particular feature). Today, 2 April 2019, close to 1000 pages have been marked by our volunteers and since the launch of CEMROL in December 2018 more than 37.000 classifications were completed, two astounding numbers.

The future looks bright for CEMROL. At the moment, we are for instance working on adding more information on the letters and scholars featured on the platform and possibly putting in place an optional personal login, so that people can keep track of their personal statistics and engage with other volunteers on a forum. On 12 April we are meeting (some of) our volunteers for the first time and we are looking forward to  discuss our research, answer their questions, and receive their input. It is important to hear from our contributors at this stage about how we can improve CEMROL, to make sure that our volunteers have an optimal experience when using the platform.

Are you interested in joining our team of volunteers? Visit CEMROL right now and start your first session.

Are you already a contributor and do you have a question and/or comment? Get in touch with us via

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