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The United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by Congress in 1865 to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved people make the transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. In the process, the Bureau created millions of records that contain the names of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees. In an effort to enhance the accessibility of these important materials, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives and Records Administration (where the original records of the Freedmen's Bureau are held), FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian's Transcription Center, have teamed up to transcribe more than 1.5 million pages from the Freedmen's Bureau records (the largest crowdsourcing project ever undertaken by the Smithsonian). Completed transcriptions will allow genealogists, historians, and researchers around the world more easily search for and locate information recorded on Freedmen's Bureau pages related to African American history and the post-Civil War era. Join in by transcribing and reviewing ongoing projects below, and click here to learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau and this important collaborative project.

94% Complete

50 Total Pages 101 Contributing Members

Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner, Indexes and Registers, Name Index (45) to Register 11, Sept.–Dec. 1867

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Series 1: Indexes and Registers of Letters Received. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

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92% Complete

207 Total Pages 178 Contributing Members

Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner, Letters Received, Entered in Register 16, A, Jan.–Aug. 1870, Part 1

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Registers and Letters Received by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Series 2: Letters Received. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women during the Reconstruction Era.

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97% Complete

295 Total Pages 179 Contributing Members

Tennessee Education, Press Copies of Letters Sent to General Howard and Staff, Vol. 1 (35), 1869–1870

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen’s Bureau, was established on March 3, 1865. The duties of the Freedmen’s Bureau included supervision of all affairs relating to refugees, freedmen, and the custody of abandoned lands and property. These documents come from the Records of the Superintendent of Education for Tennessee, Series 2: Press Copies of Letters Sent to General Howard and Staff. PLEASE NOTE: Press copies were made by moistening a piece of thin paper and pressing it on the original letter through the use of a press copying machine, which transferred some of the ink to the moistened paper. Because of the relative crudeness of this method, many of the press copies are difficult to read and some are virtually illegible. Please mark any illegible text as [[illegible]]. Additional resources are available on the Freedmen's Bureau Instructions Page. Please help us transcribe these records to learn more about the lives of formerly enslaved men and women in Tennessee during the Reconstruction Era.

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