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LC Labs Letter: June 2020

A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Our Projects 

New experiments launch on!

Speech to Text Viewer

The Speech to Text Viewer is an experiment to test, document, and refine ways to increase accessibility to American Folklife Center collections using off-the-shelf transcription tools. This proof-of-concept tool shows the potential to browse, play audio, and read time-synced auto-generated transcripts of online collections from the American Folklife Center. The selected materials span a wide range of dialects and time periods to test the accuracy of off-the-shelf transcription tools on a variety of cultural heritage recordings.

Exploring Machine Learning with the Project Aida team: Code and Project Documentation 

LC Labs recently finished a collaboration with the Project AIDA research team led by Elizabeth Lorang and Leen-Kiat Soh at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This project consisted of six small-scale experiments applying machine learning to Library of Congress collections.

Along with their final report, titled “Digital Libraries, Intelligent Data Analytics, and Augmented Description: A Demonstration Project by the Project AIDA team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,” the project findings, documentation and code are now available as an experiment on and on the Library of Congress Github repository.

Calling all readers of the Signal! 

The Signal is a collaborative blog between LC Labs and the Digital Content Management Section at the Library of Congress. Initially created in 2011 to share information about digital preservation efforts, the blog has traced the evolution of digital practices at the Library over the course of a decade.

Whether you’re a long-time reader or you’ve just recently subscribed for updates, we’re grateful for your readership! If you’d like to tell us what you think of the blog, and what you’d like to see more of, please respond to the following survey.


  • Interested in bulk downloading maps from the Library of Congress’s online collections? It just got easier! Find out how using the latest Jupyter Notebooks released by the Geography & Maps Division in this post on the Signal.
  • Forthcoming: “Machine Learning + Libraries: The State of the Field” by Associate Professor Ryan Cordell. LC Labs commissioned the report to document the state of the field regarding machine learning and libraries—stay tuned for its release very soon!
  • The Library has taken a closer look at how to make the Recommended Formats Statement even more useful to all stakeholders and user communities.

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