Browse Projects


13% Complete

105 Total Pages 20 Contributing Members

William Healey Dall - Diary, United States Coast Survey, 1873

Who would you choose to explore and chart the farthest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness? In 1873, the United States Coast Survey chose naturalist William Healey Dall to explore the Alaskan territory (just recently purchased by the United States from Russia in 1867). Dall, who also traveled through Alaska with the Western Union Telegraph Expedition of 1865-1867, took measurements and notes about his travels, the climate, and barometric pressure. Later on in Dall's vibrant scientific career, he was named Honorary Curator of the United States Museum's Division of Mollusks. Join other volunteers in transcribing Dall's diary and explore a first-hand account of a fascinating scientific expedition!

52% Complete

109 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics DASCH project- Logbook AI #45

Before iPhones, laptops, and even punch-card computers there were human computers, some of whom worked at the Harvard College Observatory. Most recently seen on the TV series COSMOS with Neil Tyson, these women made some of the most important discoveries in astronomy in the early 20th century. Please come help us transcribe the logbooks so we can preserve and digitize this very valuable resource.

64% Complete

143 Total Pages 34 Contributing Members

Arthur W. Stelfox - Diary 1: Hymenoptera

Take a trip through Ireland at the end of the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) with naturalist and architect Arthur Wilson Stelfox. Stelfox, Assistant Naturalist at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, began this set of field notes in May 1921, and documents his specimen collection work through May 1926. In addition to his observations on the weather ("a wettish, dull day!"), Stelfox's field book includes data about specimens including insects to bats. Help us transcribe these specimen notes! Want to dive even deeper into an entomology project? We also encourage you to check out a Bumblebee Project!

19% Complete

96 Total Pages 5 Contributing Members

Alexander Wetmore - Photo Album, Panama, 1947

Did you know that on the Pan-American Highway (a road linking all of the mainland countries in the Americas), there is only one spot that's not connected? It's called the Darien Gap, a large region of undeveloped forests and swamps--bad for motorists, but great for scientists like ornithologist Alexander Wetmore. Smithsonian Secretary Wetmore and National Museum of Natural History taxidermist Watson M. Perrygo traveled to the Darien region of Panama to study and collect birds. The photos Wetmore took of his expedition trip document the incredible wetlands, swamps, and wildlife found in the Darien Gap. Go exploring with Wetmore and Perrygo and help other volunteers transcribe these image captions!

0% Complete

103 Total Pages 1 Contributing Members

Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 48, 1930-1931

How did a scientist split time between social calls, "automobiling," and laboratory work at the beginning of the twentieth century? Help us transcribe Leo Baekeland's diaries to learn more about his daily activities and scientific work.

33% Complete

196 Total Pages 9 Contributing Members

Certified Proofs of New York (Box 25)

From the nineteenth into the twentieth centuries, in Freeport, NY, national banks issued currency to patrons. That currency was certified by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing through proofs. The practice allowed the BEP to ensure accuracy in intaglio printing plates before they were printed. Learn how to transcribe this project here. Together, we'll create records for each proof sheet and expand the rich data in our collections.

50% Complete

149 Total Pages 41 Contributing Members

Negative Log Book Number 21, (92-1 to 94-5200)

In 1896, the first Smithsonian's first photographer Thomas Smilie began to document the work of the Institution. In the 1970's, the Smithsonian Photographic Services was formed as the latest group to continue his work. This corps of photographers logged their work in a series of handwritten logbooks. Help us unlock the Smithsonian's visual history by transcribing this log of photographs taken between 1992 and 1994 to recover information from our endlessly fascinating visual past!

91% Complete

96 Total Pages 6 Contributing Members

Frederick Coville - Field Notes, Oregon, 1898

If you were walking along the Pacific Coast Trail through Oregon, along Lake Merrill and Mount St. Helens, what type of terrain would you expect to find? In the years before Mount St. Helen's historic explosion, the mountain's geography ranged from lush to arid--a perfect place for a botanist, like Frederick Coville, to study. Coville's field notes document his travel through the Cascade Volcanic Arc during his time as Chief Botanist for the United States Department of Agriculture. Coville was also an honorary curator of the United States National Herbarium (part of the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History). Join other volunteers in transcribing Coville's field notes and explore the mountains of Oregon!

25% Complete

500 Total Pages 19 Contributing Members

Other Fascinating Euphorb Genera Set 3

Join us in transcribing the Euphorbiaceae, or Spurge, family, an extensive flowering family. In this group, we find plants from the genera Manihot, Baloghia and Scagea.

Please contact Sylvia Orli, Department of Botany, or tweet us at @sylviaorli @TranscribeSI for any questions or comments about the transcriptions.

21% Complete

252 Total Pages 32 Contributing Members

Martin H. Moynihan - Field notes, Andean Birds, Colombia, 1962-65

Could you name a species of bird that makes its home in the Andes, the longest continental mountain range in the world? Explore the Andes mountains and its birds through Martin H. Moynihan's field book. Moynihan, an animal behaviorist and later Director and Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, took these notes in Colombia during 1962-65. His observations include elevations and weather conditions recorded as he traveled through the Andes, alongside descriptions of the birds he found (with some beautiful sketches!). Join other volunteers in transcribing Moynihan's field notes and experience a first-hand account of a trek through the Andes!