The Historical Database Suriname and Curacao (HDSC) creates a data infrastructure of inhabitants of Suriname and Curacao (1828-1950). Digitizing the complete civil registry of both countries will allow researchers to study the social, cultural, and demographic history of two tropical colonial societies rooted in slavery and indentured labour. Furthermore, making all data publicly accessible facilitates family history research.
Currently, we work on the transcription of the civil registry via the crowdsourcing platform HET VOLK (https://hetvolk.org/). The hundreds of thousands certificates will take years to transcribe with citizen scientists. Therefore, we explore how automated handwritten text recognition (HTR) technology and entity recognition can be integrated into the workflow.