Code - DIY History: Help build the historical record by doing it yourself

DIY Transcription Site

DIYHistory is built upon the open-source generosity of George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, so we feel it's only right to give our sourcecode out to organizations and individuals interested in implementing their own crowdsourcing initiatives. Anyone who can install Omeka and MediaWiki on a web server can easily get started with their own branded version of DIYHistory|transcribe with little to no programmer time. If you find our code useful and build further upon it, we'd love to receive your pull requests at


DIYHistory|transcribe is a tool for engaging users in transcribing handwritten documents, making them more searchable and enhancing them for research. DIYHistory|transcribe is built on the Omeka content management system and uses the Scripto plugin to facilitate transcription. Scripto uses MediaWiki, which allows users to continually improve upon work that has already been done. In building this site, we made significant additions to the Scripto plugin, created a new Omeka theme, and customized other Omeka plugins to style and scale for a library production environment.


DIYHistory|transcribe requires the following:


DIYHistory|transcribe introduces the following features to plugin-Scripto:

The Scribe theme directs its focus on guiding users to easy transcription tasks rather than collection management features, offering a clean, thumbnail-oriented transcription view for any number of Omeka image collections.

By default, any member of the public is allowed to edit and save transcription data, but only users with an account can track their progress. Approved account holders can also be granted administrator (or deputy) status, allowing them to finalize documents as “complete”.


Follow the documentation at each source code repository to install Omeka 1.5, ui-libraries/plugin-CsvImport, ui-libraries/plugin-Scripto + MediaWiki, and Scribe.

For best results, install the ui-libraries/plugin-Scripto plugin and create a collection before installing the Scribe theme.