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Wanted: Transcribers At KEY

Puakea Nogelmeier’s massive Hawaiian-language newspaper transcription project has come to Kahaluu in a big way, and volunteers are urged to join the effort by attending tutorial training with him and his team from 5 to 9 tonight (March 28) in Room 202 at KEY Project.

The UH Hawaiian language professor has asked KEY and its new computer lab to be a hub for volunteers as they work with others to help complete the 60,000-page project by July 31. Ike Kuokoa (“liberating knowledge”) involves downloading digital image scans of newspaper pages, then typing them into a text document exactly as they appear. The newspapers were published between the mid-1800s and 1948.

“Our goal,” Nogelmeier states on the website (awaiaulu.org), “is to make the whole available collection word-searchable … It will open up hundreds of thousands of pages worth of data on history, culture, politics, science, world view and more.”

The kiko hua (typists) are key to its completion, and KEY intern George Simons coordinates the local effort, with an eye on the benefit to volunteers as well the new window it opens to Hawaii’s past.

“What I see is a morale booster,” Simons said. “Even if they have their own computers at home, volunteers can come here and do it together as a group.” He’s hoping for about 25 people, and they don’t have to be tech-savvy – just willing and able to use a keyboard and work patiently through the old text.

Kualoa-Heeia Ecumenical Youth Project is at 47-200 Waihee Road. For details, call Simons at 239-5777 or email him at front-desk@keyproject.org.