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 December 2016.

Checking in on December 2016




The final month of 2016 was a busy time! In December, we welcomed 55 new volunteers to our vibrant cohort. Be sure to wave at new pals! Together, we saw 4,923 pages pass the complete mark and head for Smithsonian staff approval. December also saw 44 projects tied with a bow. As mid-January, we have completed a cumulative 1,814 projects!

Over the two months, we hosted over 5,500 visits from around the world; visitors stopped in from Germany, India, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, Japan, and Portugal. On average, visiting volunteers explored 10 pages and shared over 14 minutes of their time with us. In one month, TC visitors logged over 60,000 unique pageviews.




We continue to welcome new volunteers and are as grateful as ever for your help. We are happy to support these 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 and letting us know how we can help you make access to collections even better.


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.






Charles Francis Hall: Hunting the Terror

Recently, the HMS Terror--lost as part of the Franklin Expedition in 1848 and part of the focus of Charles Francis Hall's expeditions to Greenland--was discovered against along the coast of King William Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Did you know that the HMS Terror has connections to events and objects at the National Museum of American History? Or that we can find some of Hall's references to the ship and its pair the HMS Erebus thanks to the efforts of volunteers like you? Learn more in our storify story: H.M.S. Terror Discovered: Charles Francis Hall's Pursuit through Time.

Then, join us to transcribe Hall's notes here.












Monthly Updates


Explore our monthly accomplishments, such as these updates for










    Join Us!


    As always, we welcome volunteers from around the world as we take on this challenge. With your help, we can make our vast collections in art, history, and science more accessible to anyone.

    Start Transcribing Now!

    You can browse through projects or Join us in transcribing Certified Proofs from the National Numismatics collection, shared by the National Museum of American History:





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    Thank you for your interest in supporting and improving the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Have questions, want to share your discoveries, or reflect with your story of learning with the Transcription Center? Please contact us here.

    You can also tweet questions to @TranscribeSI.

    This project is a product of many many passionate, creative, and dedicated individuals who have contributed subject matter expertise, technical solutions, content and design, and much more. We can continue to improve through your feedback.