I’m the Humanities Research Lead for Zooniverse. I received my Ph.D. in Musicology from Royal Holloway, University of London, with a thesis on the paleography of British song notation in the 12th and 13th centuries. Though I trained as a musicologist, I’m also a specialist in paleography and manuscript studies, and now I help researchers build crowdsourcing projects on Zooniverse. I’m currently researching best practices in crowdsourced text transcription, but I’m also interested in machine learning, particularly Handwritten Text Recognition. Advocate for open access, accessibility, & education for all. She/her.


Ph.D. Musicology | Royal Holloway, University of London

M.St. Musicology | University of Oxford

B.M. Voice Performance | University of Iowa

B.A. English Lit | University of Iowa

Other Publications

Jessica BrodeFrank, Samantha Blickhan, and Becky Rother. “Crowdsourcing Knowledge: Interactive Learning with Mapping Historic Skies.” MuseWeb 2019: Selected Papers and Proceedings from an International Conference (April 2-9, 2019).  https://mw19.mwconf.org/paper/crowdsourcing-knowledge-interactive-learning-with-mapping-historic-skies/

Helen Spiers, Alexandra Swanson, Lucy Fortson, Brooke Simmons, Laura Trouille, Samantha Blickhan, and Chris Lintott. “Everyone Counts? Design Considerations in Online Citizen Science.” Journal of Science Communication 18:1 (2019). DOI: https://doi.org/10.22323/2.18010204

Transforming Libraries and Archives Through Crowdsourcing.” D-Lib Magazine 23:5/6 (2017).

“Songs in Circulation, Texts in Transmission: English Sources and the Dublin Troper,” Early Music 45:1 (2017), 11-25. https://doi-org.turing.library.northwestern.edu/10.1093/em/cax003

“Listening and Digital Interaction in Björk’s Biophilia,” in Ludomusicology: Approaches to Video Game Music, eds. Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney (Equinox Publishing, 2016), 133-151.


Anti-Slavery Manuscripts at the Boston Public Library (Zooniverse partnership with the Boston Public Library, built as part of the IMLS-funded “Transforming Libraries and Archives Through Crowdsourcing” project)

Scribes of the Cairo Geniza (Zooniverse partnership with University of Pennsylvania Libraries, built as part of the IMLS-funded “Transforming Libraries and Archives Through Crowdsourcing” project)

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

August 14: International Astronomical Union FM14, Vienna AT

October 15: Artefacts XXIII, Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL

November 11: Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science, Loyola University, Chicago, IL

November 16: Fermilab Physics Slam, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, IL


American Musicological Society

Citizen Science Association

Samantha Blickhan

Profile picture of Samantha Blickhan


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