The Medici Archives, located in Florence, Italy, is a research institute dedicated to studying the lives of Medici Grand Dukes through documents from the past 400 years. I am still in awe of their dedication and the care they have for the documents they have compiled. Due to many of the documents being fragile, the Medici Archives Project has been taking their time and scanning each document. This not only to preserve them, but also to allow more historians to have access to these delicate documents and contribute data.
This project is a redesign of the site they currently have, BIA. I used the site for my class in 2016 and found as a non scholar historian, that it was difficult to navigate. Their site is closed to non-registered users, so I decided to create a version that was modified for a Citizen Scientist perspective.
What is a Citizen Scientist Project?
A citizen scientist project is one that allows non-scientists to contribute to scientific research.
There are two parts to this website:
The first is the citizen scientist portion. This is where non-scientist people, who know Italian, can transcribe documents from a written format to digital, or from Italian to English. Some may be able to link people, places, times, dates, or events mentioned in the documents. They do not have to create a profile and their work will be reviewed by an admin. Access to documents would be limited by the archives and admins. In this case, and admin is someone with the authority to verify contents to ensure consistency and accuracy.
The second is the researcher portion, which is more in depth and has rewards as they work to become an admin. When you make an account, you gain access to any scanned documents placed on the site. Researchers can "favorite" specific documents, names mentioned in documents, years, or even events. For example, if someone favorited the name "Cosimo I de' Medici" any document that has flagged that name being in it will notify the user and be compiled in a manageable area.
I also wanted to add a form of gamification to encourage more engagement. When you first sign up, you are given a Starter Badge which the more you translate or transcribe, the more experience you get.
This shield symbolizes a user who just started and is working to become and admin or for someone who is only interested in translating.
This shield symbolizes a user who is translating/transcribing documents. Users get these after five documents they have worked on have been verified by an admin.
Users gain this shield after working on 30 documents.
Users gain this shield after working on 75 documents.
Users gain this shield after working on 100 documents. And can request to be an admin able to verify other documents
Special users gain this if they visit the Medici Archives in Italy.