Photo: © Jon Ellis


LibCrowds is a platform built by Alexander Mendes, in association with BL Labs. It aims to create searchable catalogue records for some of the hundreds of thousands of items that can only be found in printed and card catalogues. By participating in the crowdsourcing projects hosted here, you will help researchers everywhere to access our collections more easily in the future.

Featured Project Series: Convert-a-Card

In our first project series, Convert-a-Card, we're experimenting with a new method for transforming printed card catalogues into electronic records for inclusion in our online catalogue Explore.

While the British Library is relatively young for a national library, much of its vast historical collections were acquired long before computers were used for cataloguing as standard. So, while the library's online catalogue, Explore, provides public access to nearly 57 million records, there are still thousands of important research items that can only be found by searching the old physical card catalogues.

Records matched, located, transcribed or translated as part of Convert-a-Card will be uploaded to the British Library's Explore catalogue for anyone to search online. By participating you will have a direct impact on the availability of research material to anyone interested in the diverse collections available at the British Library.


LibCrowds is built on top of PyBossa , an open-source Python framework for the creation of crowdsourcing projects. PyBossa is written in Python and uses the Flask micro-framework. Each project on the platform is written in a combination of HTML, CSS and Javascript. The community forum is powered by Discourse. The LibCrowds theme and any plugins developed to provide additional functionality are open-souce and available on GitHub.

LibCrowds is currently running the following plugins:

HTML5 web badge
CSS3 web badge
JavaScript web badge

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