About the platform

Amplify is a platform designed to deliver audio collections from the archives of cultural institutions across New South Wales. These oral histories, many of which have been preserved digitally from their original format, are being delivered online paired with machine-generated transcripts. These transcripts can be edited by any user to improve their accuracy and ultimately enrich important historical and cultural documents.

Amplify is maintained by the State Library of New South Wales and hosts audio collections from a variety of participating cultural institutions. Currently on Amplify you can find collections from the following institutions:

  • Central West Libraries
  • Ryde Library Service
  • State Library of New South Wales
  • Riverina  Regional Library - Wagga Wagga Branch
  • Wollongong Libraries


The problem? Unsearchable, inaccessible audio

There has been a focus over the last several years from many cultural institutions to preserve at-risk collection formats, such as historical audio collections that were originally recorded on now deteriorating formats such as cassette tapes. The State Library of NSW, for example, has digitised more than 10,000 hours of sound recordings from its collections. However, to make these digital recordings truly accessible, searchable and valuable, each audio file also needs a corresponding transcript. Unfortunately, human transcripts are a costly and time-consuming undertaking, making it challenging for many institutions to complete this mammoth task on their own.

Recent advances in speech-to-text machine technologies have meant we’ve seen great progress in computer-generated transcripts, making it easier to produce transcripts for a wealth of important audio material. While the accuracy of these computer-generated transcripts is higher than ever before, they still tend to be error-prone and require careful human editing to reach full accuracy.


The solution? You!

Correcting computer-generated transcripts is a community effort and you can help to improve the quality of each transcript hosted on Amplify by correcting just a single line or every single line in an entire audio recording – every bit counts! You can listen along to wonderful sound collections from a variety of institutions and if you spot an error, click on the line with the mistake, make your correction and then continue listening on. It’s as easy as that!


About the development

Amplify was developed using New York Public Library’s open source codebase for their own Transcript Editor. Without the NYPL’s dedication to innovation and contribution to the open source community globally, the State Library’s Amplify project would not have been possible.

If you would like to create your own installation of Amplify, our customised codebase can be found in the State Library's GitHub repository.

Amplify’s development and customisation was done by the State Library of New South Wales in partnership with reinteractive, a Sydney based Ruby on Rails development agency.

The computer-generated transcripts used on our platform were produced by VoiceBase.

New York Public Library logo Reinteractive logo VoiceBase logo


Contacts

If you have questions, feedback or concerns about a specific collection or audio recording, please contact the institution that the collection belongs to directly.

  • Central West Libraries
E: library@orange.nsw.gov.au or visit our contact us page

  • Ryde Library Services
Ph: (02) 9952 8352 E: rydelibrary@ryde.nsw.gov.au

  • State Library of New South Wales
E: digital.volunteering@sl.nsw.gov.au 
You can also use our Oral History and Sound Collections research guide to find out more about accessing audio material at the State Library.

  • Riverina Regional Library - Wagga Wagga Branch
Ph: (02) 6926 9700
E: wcl@wagga.nsw.gov.au

  • Wollongong Libraries
Contact us


Platform enquiries

If you would like to know more about Amplify or find information about other digital volunteering projects at the State Library, you can visit the State Library website or send us an email at digital.volunteering@sl.nsw.gov.au.


Amplify is proudly brought to you by: