Charlene Hodges Byrd Collection, Series 2, Sub-series 2 Grace E. Shimm Cummings: Charles Gilmor Cummings, 1899-1907

About the Project

The Charlene Hodges Byrd Collection documents the personal life and professional career of Charlene Hodges Byrd (1929-2009), an African American teacher from Washington, D.C. The collection also includes material about the Byrd’s relatives the Shimm, Thomas, Cummings, Hodges, and Davage families who lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. These documents are from the correspondence series of the archive. The letters discuss family life, religion, race, education, and the family’s relationship with Frederick Douglass and his family. Included are letters to and from Charlene Hodges Byrd, Ida R. Cummings, the first African American kindergarten teacher in Baltimore; Elizabeth Dews Hodges, Byrd’s stepmother; Sarah A. Shimm, essayist under the name Faith Lichen; her daughters Erminie F. Shimm and Grace E. Shimm Cummings; and Byrd's mother, Joyce Ethel Cummings Hodges. All the women were teachers and active members of their communities. Help us transcribe these documents that highlight women’s personal lives and their careers.¬¬

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(4 out of 5)

Level 1 --- BEGINNER

Content: all typed
Language: English
Format: letters, diaries, flyers, pamphlets, and one-page documents
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required

Level 2

Content: mostly typed, handwritten in print, or otherwise very clearly written/readable
Language: English
Format: memorabilia, advertisements, image captions, telegrams, diaries, letters, notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: none required


Content: typed and handwritten materials in cursive or print
Language: English
Format: newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, letters/diaries/notes that may include annotations or margin notes
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: experience reading cursive writing may be useful

Level 4

Content: handwritten materials, primarily in cursive or somewhat difficult to read (predominantly from the 19th and 20th centuries) , audio recordings that are relatively easy to hear/decipher, and scientific materials
Language: English and/or other languages that use Roman script but may require the use of diacritics (French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.)
Format: audio recordings, letters, diaries, notes and other written materials, projects with templated fields and special instructions
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: some knowledge of non-English Roman-character/script languages and diacritics may be useful, as well as experience reading cursive handwriting. A general knowledge or familiarity with scientific terminology.

Level 5 --- ADVANCED

Content: handwritten materials in cursive (from the 19th century or earlier) or in a non-Roman script language, audio recordings that are difficult to hear or are not in English, specialty materials/projects such as numismatics projects and the Project Phaedra notebooks 
Language: foreign languages that use non-Roman characters (Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Greek/Cyrillic, Native American and Indigenous languages, etc.) and English 
Format: audio recordings, columned data/tables, manuscripts, letters, diaries, notes, currency sheets, coins
Subject Area Expertise/Special Skills: knowledge of a specific language and access to a keyboard with the characters in that language may be required for certain projects. Experience reading cursive handwriting and familiarity with 19th century (or prior) handwriting and conventions/abbreviations may be useful, as well as knowledge of scientific terminology, astrophysics data, or linguistics.

Project Progress (details)
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