Frederick Douglass Transcribe-a-thon!

Want to do something over President’s Day weekend that relates to Black History Month?

We are delighted to announce that our online transcription campaign the Library’s Mary Church Terrell Papers is the 2021 Douglass Day service project chosen by the Colored Conventions Project – and you can take part!

Starting at noon tomorrow (Feb. 12), this project is an excellent way to spend a few hours of Black History Month — helping preserve and digitize the papers of Terrell, the legendary activist and educator who was co-founder and president of the National Association of Colored Women and who helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Each year, during the celebration of Douglass’ birthday, the non-profit Colored Conventions Project selects an online transcription project to promote as part of a day of service in his honor.

I’ve worked on some of the LOC transcriptions in the past - it’s to take handwritten documents (such as personal letters) and reading them while transcribing or reviewing a transcription is interesting. Last year, I did some letters between Rosa Parks & her mom (had stuff in there like bills to pay, gossip about people, etc.) OCR doesn’t work well with handwritten docs.

Even if you’re not good at typing stuff up, you can always review – I’ve switched to reviewing not only because it’s faster, but it seems that far more people are interested in doing the original typing up than doing cleaning up of transcriptions.

Go here:

As I write, there are about 4500 papers left to go in this particular collection


…actually, looking at a lot of the documents they have left to do, a lot of them are actually printed/typewritten material that’s been scanned in… which makes transcription & review a lot easier.

This year, the paper’s are Mary Church Terrell’s — more on Mrs. Terrell:

Transcribed one page and reviewed a few others. Is this a steady program? I would do this on a regular basis instead of mindlessly scrolling through FB when I’m bored.

So these specific papers will likely get finished soon, but they always have a “portfolio” of projects available

Here’s a screenshot of my own activity:

I do these in spurts, and I haven’t done much, but what I have looked at has been interesting.

Smithsonian also has a similar program here that is ongoing:

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