We periodically pose challenges to you, our amazing volunteers. This page includes a list of current challenges and challenges past!
An Evergreen Challenge:
Narrow the gap between completed pages on BTP and those on loc.gov
We regularly publish volunteer created transcriptions back on the Library's main website, loc.gov, where they make documents keyword searchable and accessible to people who use screen readers or who can't read cursive. Review is the final step to complete transcriptions before we can move them to loc.gov and we only export items where every page has been completed. For example, if 97 pages of a 100 page document are complete but 3 need review, we won't publish it till it's done.
To help narrow the gap between completed pages on BTP and those on loc.gov, we challenge you to seek out and review documents on By the People that are almost complete--those with just a few pages needing review! If you make edits on a page, it will still need another round of review. Try working in tandem with another volunteer, whether someone else here on History Hub or a friend, colleague, or family member. Since we only add transcriptions of completed documents to loc.gov, completing almost finished items will make a dramatic difference in the number of pages we can make accessible!
How to do it?
- Choose a Campaign that interests you, then click into a project and look at the blue bars underneath each item. The different shades represent progress: "Completed" is the darkest blue, "Needs Review" is the next darkest, "In Progress" is a lighter blue, and grey is "Not Started."
- Look for documents that appear mostly dark blue, like the Carrie Chapman Catt Diaries, in the example below, and which have a small amount of the "Needs Review" lighter blue.
- Click on the document you want to work on, which will take you to a list of all of the pages that are available.
- Then click on the "Needs Review" filter from the list above the pages.
- Review pages, choosing to edit or accept them.
- If you edit, ask a buddy to review your work. Hopefully they can mark the page complete after reading it closely!
Alan Lomax Review Challenge, January 2020
For the month of January, we're featuring Alan Lomax, whose 105th birthday would be on January 31st. Lomax was the most famous American folklorist of the 20th century. From 1936 to 1966 he traveled the country and the world recording thousands of musicians, storytellers, and other tradition-bearers. So far we've made U.S. and Caribbean materials available, and are waiting until these are mostly complete before releasing materials from the United Kingdom. So we ask you to put your considerable talents and energy towards reviewing pages this month to bring the "completed" count to 3,000 by Alan's birthday on Jan. 31. This will let us start bringing transcriptions back to loc.gov, and will move us closer to adding new materials. Learn more here: Happy birthday, Alan! -- January Lomax review challenge
Some past challenges:
Clara Barton Birthday Review Challenge, December 2019
Clara Barton's birthday is December 25, 1821. For the month of December we invited you to celebrate this incredible person by reviewing pages from her diaries and other writings. Our goal is to move the number of pages awaiting review under 3,000. Learn more: Clara Barton Birthday Review Challenge - Update!
Women's History Month Challenge, March 6-15th, 2019
To Women's History Month, complete (i.e. fully transcribe and review) a total of 300 pages between the Clara Barton and Mary Church Terrell campaigns by March 15th. We are aiming to bring the total for each 150 pages higher than they were on March 6, 2019. The numbers we're aiming for are 1,120 for Barton, and 1,225 for Terrell! As of the morning of March 8th, Terrell is well on her way to the goal. Volunteers have completed 127 pages! But poor Barton only has 11 pages towards the goal. Can you help her out? A great way to get started is to select a page that has been partially transcribed by another volunteer or submitted for review. There are loads of these in both Barton and Terrell. And of course you can always transcribe something new! https://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/
#LettersToLincoln: Our first ever challenge was to finish transcribing and reviewing all of the Lincoln papers by the end of 2018, and while we didn't meet that goal, volunteers transcribed over 12,000 documents in the short time between October 23rd, 2018, when we launched By the People, and December 31, 2018.
Branch Rickey: A subsequent challenge was to complete review of all of the Branch Rickey baseball scouting reports, which volunteers completed by February 22, 2019.