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Index Cards Crowdsource Project


Index Card Crowdsourcing Project

Local newspapers and council minutes from 1900 to 2003



Learn everything you need to know about participating in this project.

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Choose cards to correct by subject or go random with a lucky dip.

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About the Project

The Local Studies Collection of Sutherland Shire Libraries has an extensive historical subject index covering the period 1900 to 1985. For many years, Library staff have indexed local topics of interest from our local newspapers, Sutherland Shire Council meeting minutes and other local sources, including biographical material and obituaries, on index cards. These index cards have been scanned, with transcripts created by OCR (Optical Character Recognition); computers have generated a text transcript from the card image. These transcripts need to be checked for accuracy and corrected where necessary. 

What You Can Expect

Each index card may contain one or more references to newspaper articles or council minutes; you might even find a council minute and a newspaper reference included on the same card. While the computer generation of transcripts (OCR) works quite well on typed cards, it only provides a single paragraph of text for each card. Sources, references and dates cannot be distinguished from the article title, which makes searching more difficult. There are also many handwritten cards and the OCR process does not work for handwritten text.

This is where we need your help: We need you to check the computer-generated transcripts for accuracy. We also need you to identify the references - the newspaper or council committee names, the dates and page numbers, etc. - and separate these from the content of the card to create records that can be searched accurately. And if you find a handwritten card, we may need you to transcribe that card fully.

By volunteering to check and correct these index cards, you will both enhance your knowledge and understanding of the history of the Sutherland Shire, as well as assist others by providing an important and practical contribution to a project that unlocks the historical value of this collection. You will make these index cards both searchable and accessible - and therefore more useful - for researchers, genealogists, students and anyone looking for information about the history of the Sutherland Shire. 

Further Assistance

If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer for this project, please email Sutherland Shire Libraries and our staff will respond to your enquiry.   Email: