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The RIMES database (Reconnaissance et Indexation de données Manuscrites et de fac similÉS / Recognition and Indexing of handwritten documents and faxes) was created to evaluate automatic systems of recognition and indexing of handwritten letters. Of particular interest are cases such as those sent by postal mail or fax by individuals to companies or administrations.

The database was collected by asking volunteers to write handwritten letters in exchange of gift vouchers. Volunteer were given a fictional identity (same sex as the real one) and up to 5 scenarios. Each scenario has been chosen among 9 realistic following themes : change of personal information (address, bank account), information request, opening and closing (customer account), modification of contract or order, complaint (bad service quality…), payment difficulties (asking for a delay, tax exemption…), reminder letter, damage declaration with further circumstances and a destination (administrations or service providers (telephone, power, bank, insurances). The volunteers composed a letter with those pieces of information using their own words. The layout was free and it was only asked to use white paper and to write in a readable way with black ink.

The collect was a success with more than 1,300 people who have participated to the RIMES database creation by writing up to 5 mails. The RIMES database thus obtained contains 12,723 pages corresponding to 5605 mails of two to three pages.

The Database

To have access to the database, fill in the user agreement and send it by email to

The database has been used for several competitions (ICFHR 2008, ICDAR 2009, ICDAR 2011) with different tasks and with official train/dev/test splits.

Word level recognition

Line level recognition

Extra resources

rimes_database/start.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/17 15:47 by admin