Kirsten Delegard – crowd-sourced online transcription projects

As always, I am always looking to do a withdrawal rather than an addition to the group knowledge bank. I have seen lots of examples of crowd transcription projects but would like to know more about how to design and fund such a a project. I have a group of nineteenth century police records from Minneapolis–Bertillon records–that attempt to classify and identify criminals in the city. This was a form of police identification used before fingerprinting. These could reveal so much about life in the city during the last quarter of the nineteenth century but would need to be transcribed and tagged in such a way that they could be sorted and mapped.

To sum up, I guess that I am interested in hearing more about how to approach the kind of online transcription projects being done by big institutions like the NYPL and the Smithsonian. And whether these are feasible for smaller institutions that do not have massive in house tech resources?