Optical Character Recognition for Ancient Greek

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Transforming printed pages of Ancient Greek into fully searchable and editable Unicode text

We built upon the excellent open source Tesseract OCR engine, “training” it on different Ancient Greek character shapes, wordlists, and some basic grammar. Along the way, we found and fixed several bugs in Tesseract, and significantly improved the project's documentation. We also developed a suite of training tools and OCR testing tools, that have been released under an open source license and have been used by several other people working to improve OCR in different languages.

The end result is a high-quality OCR engine for Ancient Greek, with accuracy generally between 90% and 96% for average quality page scans of old printed volumes. Because it leverages the Tesseract OCR code, our work can be used in a large variety of settings, from server clusters (as Bruce Robertson has done with his Heml Text Mining project) to apps on smartphones (such as the Text Fairy Android app.).

You can find downloads, usage instructions, and more information at the Ancient Greek OCR website.