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.

Notice anything different in the top menu? Introducing our new SEARCH feature!

We're thrilled to announce a brand new SEARCH feature!

Ever since we launched the Transcription Center in June 2013, we've been using your feedback to constantly improve the experience. Lost your place and need to revisit a project? Doing research? Just plain curious? Explore the search feature and see what you can discover. And, yes, you can filter by museum and archive!

Fall Updates

In November 2017, we welcomed 132 new volunpeers who joined us in transcribing and reviewing a total of 5,969 pages. As of December 1, our cumulative total was 2,624 completed projects, and 337,782 pages.

During that month, we hosted over 8,333 visits from around the world; visitors stopped in from Clarksville, Tenn., Cape Coral, Fla., Wellington, New Zealand, Lagos, Nigeria, London, and Berlin. On average, visiting volunteers explored 12 pages and shared over 12 minutes of their time with us. TC visitors logged about 69,750 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 as shared in our monthly newsletter.