The UHEC, including the Library Gallery, is open to the public by appointment. We are continuing to present online programming as well as small-scale, socially distanced in-person events. Read more...

Why did "Марія" turn into "Ìàð³ÿ"? An introduction to Cyrillic text encodings

Anybody who has dealt with older computer files in Ukrainian or another language that uses a non-Latin script has probably encountered text that looks like gibberish. This talk will explain what's going on and how to fix it.

Have you ever tried to open an old computer file or looked something up on the "Wayback Machine", but instead of the legible Cyrillic that you were expecting, you saw something like "Äîñòîéíèé ³ øàíîâíèé Ïåòðå Ïåòðîâè÷ó"?

That computer file may in fact be perfectly preserved, but because of changing standards it has now become illegible and useless. Unlike the paper records, digital materials can suffer from obsolescence, and measures have to be taken to prevent their information content from being lost.

In this webinar, UHEC Archivist Michael Andrec will give a very short introduction to the preservation of historical digital records, explain what text encodings are and how they work, and how to convert that gibberish into something readable.

In some ways, this is the 21st century digital version of the "difficult handwriting" talk he gave in March 2021.

His talk will assume no previous familiarity with the topic and will try to make what can be a confusing and overwhelming subject understandable to the non-specialist.

June 23rd, 2021 7:00 PM through  8:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Voluntary donation $ 1.00