IAM On-Line Handwriting Database


The IAM On-Line Handwriting Database (IAM-OnDB) contains forms of handwritten English text acquired on a whiteboard. It can be used to train and test handwritten text recognizers and to perform writer identification and verification experiments.

The database was first published in [LiBu05-03] at the ICDAR 2005. We use the database extensively in our own research, see publications for further details.

The database contains forms of unconstrained handwritten text, acquired with the E-Beam System. The collected data is stored in xml-format, including the writer-id, the transcription and the setting of the recording. For each writer the gender, the native language and some other facts which could be useful for the analysis are stored in the database.

For further information about the stored data see the data format.

All XML-forms and also all extracted text lines are available for download as XML files. The extracted lines are also available for download as converted tif-images, which could be used for the recognition as proposed in [LiBu05-01]. All texts in the IAM On-line database are built using sentences provided by the LOB Corpus [JNG1978].



The IAM Online Handwriting Database is structured as follows:

  • 221 writers contributed samples of their handwriting
  • more than 1'700 acquired forms
  • 13'049 isolated and labeled text lines in on-line and off-line format
  • 86'272 word instances from a 11'059 word dictionary



Before you can download the IAM On-line Handwriting DB we ask you to register so we are aware of who is using our data. Once you have registered you can access the IAM On-line Handwriting DB.


Terms of Use

This database may be used for non-commercial research purpose only.


If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the contact form



[JNG1978] S. Johansson, G.N. Leech and H. Goodluck. Manual of Information to accompany the Lancaster-Oslo/Bergen Corpus of British English, for use with digital Computers. Department of English, University of Oslo, Norway, 1978.

[LiBu05-01] Liwicki, M. and Bunke, H.: Handwriting Recognition of Whiteboard Notes. Proc. 12th Conference of the International Graphonomics Society, 2005, pp. 118 - 122

[LiBu05-03] Liwicki, M. and Bunke, H.: IAM-OnDB - an On-Line English Sentence Database Acquired from Handwritten Text on a Whiteboard. 8th Intl. Conf. on Document Analysis and Recognition, 2005, Volume 2, pp. 956 - 961


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