Transcription Center News

The Latest News

What's happening lately at the Smithsonian Transcription Center?

Read more news below about the projects, volunteers, and Transcription Center activity that occurred around the world in the fall of 2017.


Here comes Sweater Weather


Graphic representing Transcription Center activity in April 2017
Graphic representing Transcription Center activity in May 2017



After a summer of changes, we've finally moved into fall. Welcome to all who have joined us recently--or those who've come back for a few more projects--we're happy to have you with us. We can only achieve our goals together and we are thankful for your participation!




In August and September 2017, we saw more than 13,200 pages completed through collaboration between volunteers. As of October 10, our cumulative total was 2,528 completed projects.

Over the two months, we hosted over 16,500 visits from around the world; visitors stopped in from Germany, Nigeria, India, New Zealand, France, Israel, Canada, and Poland. On average, visiting volunteers explored 12 pages and shared over 11 minutes of their time with us. From August through September, TC visitors logged about 135,000 unique pageviews.




Every week, our participating museums and archives teams share new projects, as we continue to invite new volunteers to these adventures. We are happy to support new visitors - and you! - in efforts to make Smithsonian collections more accessible. From improving searches associated with history and art objects to adding metadata to biodiversity specimens records, we are so excited to have you with us. Please let us know how we can support you as you help improve access to collections.


Stories from the Collections


The Freedmen's Bureau Papers

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has recently launched the Freedmen's Bureau Papers, starting with Bureau offices in North Carolina.

The Bureau of Refugees, Freemen, 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.

Please explore in more detail the Freedmen's Bureau's history and the ways the public is helping historical and genealogical research at this overview from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The Freedmen's Bureau team has been hosting transcribe-a-thons with partners at the University of Maryland. Learn more about these events in May 2017 and November 2016.







Provenance and Proof: Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, General Correspondence

Join the Archives of American Art to transcribe and review this unparalleled resource for provenance researchers. These projects include letters with art dealers and galleries and are selected from the General Correspondence subseries of the Jacques Seligmann & Co. records. These sets of records are among the world's foremost resources for provenance research. The collection documents the business dealings of international art galleries which were active for nearly a century, and contains invaluable information for tracing the provenance of works of art which passed through the Jacques Seligmann & Company holdings.

Learn more about the methodologies of provenance research within the Seligmann & Co. records. Then, join us to transcribe some!












Monthly Updates


Explore our monthly accomplishments, such as these updates for