Black History Month Crowdsourcing Event – Transcription Projects

Sample Projects

Projects from the Library of Congress:

Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for African Americans and Women


Project Description from the Library of Congress: Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954), educator, women’s rights advocate, and civil rights activist, was born into a prosperous Memphis family. A graduate of Oberlin College, in 1895 she became the first black woman appointed to the District of Columbia Board of Education. The following year, she became the founding president of the National Association of Colored Women and, in 1909, a founder of the NAACP. Terrell’s papers document all phases of her public life, as well as her personal affairs. Help us transcribe her diaries and correspondence to discover her remarkable career and life.

Projects from the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Transcription Center:

James Brown Guitar


Project Description from the Smithsonian: This Epiphone guitar owned by James Brown is signed on all four sides and features messages of praise, thanks, and birthday wishes by notable people including Casey Kasem and Ozzy Osbourne. Transcription of the messages and signatures on Brown’s guitar will help Museum staff update their records with a list of all of the artists that signed the guitar and will allow interested researchers to more easily locate information about this iconic artist.

Freedmen’s Bureau Records


Project Description: The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or Freedmen’s Burseu, was founded in 1865 to assist freedmen, women, and children after the war. The Bureau built schools, helped settle disputes, and regulated contracts between freedpeople and white employers. Help transcribe records of the Bureau to make the records searchable for researchers.

Zooniverse Transcription Projects:

Anti-Slavery Manuscripts


Project Description: The Boston Public Library is asking for help transforming its collection of handwritten correspondence between anti-slavery activists in the 19th century into texts that can be more easily read and researched by students, teachers, historians, and big data applications.