This past Saturday, January 23 was National Handwriting Day!  You can celebrate and fix those cabin fever blues by helping to transcribe handwritten documents in the National Archives Catalog.

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Letter from Thomas Bram to the Warden

File Unit: Thomas Bram, Inmate No. 1516, 1902 - 1921. Series: Inmate Case Files, 1902 - 1921. Record Group 129: Records of the Bureau of Prisons, 1870 - 2009

Many handwritten records are now part of the National Archives Catalog, where they can be tagged and transcribed to make them more searchable and accessible to researchers and the public.

Get Started as a Citizen Archivist

  1. Create a username and password in the National Archives Catalog.
  2. Login from any catalog page or on the login page.
  3. Find handwritten records to transcribe.
  4. Select a record to work on from the list of results above.
  5. Click the “View/Add Contributions” button located below all images in the catalog. Select the “Transcribe” tab for the page of the record you would like to transcribe.
  6. Click the “Edit” button and remember to save your work frequently.
  7. Check out this example transcription page and Citizen Contribution Policy for more information.
  8. Read about one of our “Virtual Volunteers” who spends his retirement as a Citizen Archivist