Opendata, web and dolomites


Digital Bridge: Optical Character Recognition for Early Printed Books in Latin

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 LatinOCR project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the LatinOCR project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "LatinOCR" about.

outlines    collectors    plan    successfully    tesseract    source    literary    customisation    latin    longevity    training    bridge    recognition    philosophy    services    solution    free    seismic    books    ocr    language    collections    successful    mathematics    standard    guarantee    accurate    market    experiencing    commercial    improvement    typography    invention    unclear    libraries    archaeology    19th    costumisation    natural    affordability    revolution    learned    openness    optical    commercialisation    geography    80    proportions    law    competitors    solid    modify    medicine    languages    software    engine    limited    publication    modelled    digital    accuracy    renaissance    digitised    until    music    basic    discourse    event    storage    shift    failures    publishers    private    risks    first    printing    sciences    grammar    businesses    switch    printed    intellectual    packages    theology    subsequent    century    societies    company    vernacular    character    criticism    digitising    98    advent    95    demand    solutions    15   

Project "LatinOCR" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: DURHAM
postcode: DH1 3LE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 148˙178 €
 EC max contribution 148˙178 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-PoC
 Funding Scheme ERC-POC
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-03-01   to  2016-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM UK (DURHAM) coordinator 148˙178.00


 Project objective

This project aims to provide the first viable and accurate solution for digitising early printed books in Latin using Optical Character Recognition. Our basic OCR package will be free and open-source, in order to ensure affordability, longevity, and openness for improvement (three failures of our commercial competitors). Our Company Limited by Guarantee will market costumisation, training, support, and further development tailored to specific collections of books (the standard failure of open-source solutions). Customisation services are essential in our market. Early printed Latin cannot be successfully digitised using standard OCR packages (whether open-source or commercial): these currently have an accuracy of no more than 15%. We plan to modify the open-source Tesseract engine, by training it to account for Latin grammar and early typography: this will increase its accuracy of recognition to about 80%. Customisation tailored to specific collections of books will further improve accuracy to about 95% to 98%.

Our company will address the needs of libraries, digital publishers, researchers, learned societies, and private collectors of early books. Our commercialisation plan is modelled on that of other successful businesses based on open-source software.

The demand for Latin OCR is strong, as publishers and libraries switch to digital publication and storage. From the invention of printing in the Renaissance until well into the 19th century, Latin was the European language of every intellectual discourse: the natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy, theology, law, literary criticism, geography, archaeology, music, medicine. The subsequent shift to using the vernacular languages was a seismic event. We are now experiencing a revolution of similar proportions: the advent of digital publication is bringing opportunities and risks whose outlines are still unclear. This project aims to offer a solid technical bridge between the digital future and the Latin past.

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The information about "LATINOCR" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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