The Methodology: Tools
In October of 2009, the PWD staff requested funding to develop a tool that would allow them to turn PWD into a crowdsourcing transcrition project in addition to a digital archive. After funding was aquired from NEH and substrantial developmental and design work had been done, RRCHNM introduced Scripto on March 16, 2011 on PWD and later released plugins for Omeka, Drupal, and WordPress on July 31, 2012.
Being that it is an open source tool, Scripto has been used many times for other crowdsourcing transcription projects since its initial launch on PWD in 2011. Some of the projects include the University of Iowa's DIY History, the Royal BC Museum's transcription of WWI British Columbian diaries, and Letters of 1916 by Maynooth University in Ireland.
Building Papers of the War Department
There are a variety of tools which were used in the development of PWD. The first task for the team was transferring the data created by ESU in Access into a custom database created by Jim Safley with MySQL. This transfer of information was the first big hurdle for the technical staff; the database is used for the public display of the collection. The community transcription side of PWD was done using media wiki and the blog is displayed and managed using WordPress. Lastly, the display pages were designed using PHP.