June 07, 2011
By Elisabeth Grant
Have a little time to spare? Consider helping transcribe Civil War letters and diaries online.
In commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the libraries of the University of Iowa put together the exhibit “‘Now Do Not Let Your Courage Fail’: Voices from the Civil War,” currently on display at the university, which incorporates letters and diaries from three manuscript collections. As a part of this exhibit documents were scanned and made available online here (image below).
While the scanning of 3,011 pages of letters and diaries is an accomplishment, they still need to be transcribed to make them more readable and searchable for those who visit them online (see an example of a transcribed and finished document). Since transcribing is a time-consuming and costly endeavor for a small staff at a university library, they’re turning to the help of the masses to get this done.
So if you’re interested, take as little or as much time as you like reading through and helping to transcribe these documents from the Civil War.