33 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2018 12:46 PM by Lauren Algee

    Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.

    Victoria Van Hyning Adventurer

      Hello! Thank you for taking the time to explore History Hub, the discussion space for the Library of Congress' latest crowdsourcing initiative.

       

      We'd love to hear from you about what brings you to the project, how you're using crowd.loc.gov in the classroom or for your research, and the interesting things you've discovered while transcribing. Don't worry, you don't have to be an educator, researcher or even a regular participant on the project to chime in! You're welcome here, and we're grateful to all our volunteers for any time they can spend transcribing, reviewing, tagging or chatting about the Library's fascinating collections.

        • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
          Victoria Van Hyning Adventurer

          Hello everyone! I'm Victoria, one of the Community Managers for our crowdsourcing effort at the Library of Congress. I worked on a few online crowdsourcing projects before I came to the Library, and I have a background in Renaissance and Medieval English literature. I'm also passionate about American literature and history--and excited to learn more! It's a privilege to work at the Library with such knowledgeable and talented staff who devote their lives to making the Library's treasures accessible to all. Thank you for taking part in crowd.loc.gov and helping with this important work. I look forward to the day when all of our manuscript and printed material is fully searchable on the Library's catalog.

            • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
              suzanne piecuch Wayfarer

              Hello Victoria and Community,

               

              When asked what I like to read, I usually say "dead authors." By that I mean classics, diaries, historical documents, stuff that makes the general public drift to another corner of the party room.

               

              In the past few years I've broadened my scope to include mainstream novels, including the mash-up I'm currently reading, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," which had me amused til i read the insult held in its summary, touting itself as a book transforming "...a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read." To uphold the honor of those of us who have a passion for unadulterated classics, I drew my blood-crusty cutlass and shredded the book to bits.

               

              I have to say that finding this transcription call has saved my sanity, as my real-world job which has for so long been a joy is quickly becoming zombified, and I need the clean air that transcribing seems to bring. To be reading things that were written by hands once virile, and glimpse the minds and souls behind the penmanship, is thrilling! the ultimate mash-up of past and present, and a sort of voyeurism that feels unifying in a deep way.

               

              Cheers!

              Suzanne.

            • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
              Lauren Algee Adventurer

              Hi Crowd!  I’m Lauren Algee, another of the Community Managers for crowd.loc.gov. I’m excited to help lifelong learners and the historically curious out there connect with the Library of Congress and its vast and fascinating collections.

               

              My background is as an archivist and before coming to the Library of Congress I worked at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in Austin, Texas, the National Gallery of Art, and the DC Public Library (DCPL).  At DCPL I managed the library’s digital local history collections. I also co-founded the DC Public Library's Memory Lab, a public space for digitization and learning how to care for your personal digital archives. I now serve on the board of the Memory Lab Network and encourage you to see if there’s a Memory Lab in your area!

              • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                Meghan Ferriter Newbie

                Hi everyone! I'm Meghan and I'm a Community Manager, too. I'm really looking forward to collaborating, sharing interesting things we find in our collections, and hearing more about what sparks your interest in history. The Library of Congress has such depth of resources and we're thrilled people are keen to help make them more searchable and useful to many people.

                 

                Before I joined the Library of Congress, I had the chance to learn from and partner with volunteers at the Smithsonian Transcription Center. I hope you'll explore those projects, as well. My background is as a historian and cultural anthropologist - across my research experiences, I've tried to understand the ways people share information, work together, work through conflict, and use stories and digital spaces to understand and relate to each other.

                 

                Can't wait to hear more about what you think of and find in our first challenge: Letters to Lincolnhttps://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/letters-to-lincoln/!

                • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                  Elaine Kamlley Newbie

                  Hi folks! I'm Elaine and the fourth Community Manager. Along with my colleagues, I am beyond excited to collaborate and learn from you all. Please let us know what you find interesting, what sparks your curiosity or what features you'd like to see in the application.

                   

                  Prior to joining the Library of Congress, I was working at 18F, an office within the General Services Administration. 18F collaborates with other agencies to improve how government serves the public through technology.

                  • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                    Alan Walker Tracker

                    Hi all. I'm a processing archivist here at NARA, and community manager for the "Researchers Help" space here on History Hub. Having spent the first half of my career working with NARA's photo collections, I am naturally drawn to LC's fabulous collections too. Recently I spent a great deal of time annoying the Prints and Photographs staff with caption submissions for some of the distressingly large number of "no caption" images in the National Photo Co. and Harris & Ewing collections. The most rewarding part was identifying two of NARA's early division chiefs:

                     

                                                              

                                                                   LC-H2-B-8017 and 8018 (P&P)

                                                                          Roscoe Hill, Division of Classification, ca. 1935

                     

                                                             

                                                                 LC-H2-B-8253 (P&P)

                                                                        Thomas M. Owen, Division of Accessions, ca. 1935

                     

                         With over 30,000 images labeled "no caption" in the Harris & Ewing collection (and many more with such

                         informative captions as "Man seated at desk"), this might make an excellent CROWD project for the future!

                         Best wishes to everyone involved with this exciting new venture.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                      Shawn Mann Newbie

                      Hi everyone.  I'm ShawnMarie from PA.  I have a little bit of a paper problem - in love with all of it.  :-)  My favorite things are women's magazines from the war years, recipes and maps.  I have a degree in Geography but my day job is in IT Data management.  I've always wanted to be a librarian and to help people find things they want to know more about so hoping I can help out this way.

                       

                      ShawnMarie

                      • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                        Sheena Striker Newbie

                        Hi everyone! My name is Sheena and I'm from Ohio. I am the director of the Hardin County Historical Museums, Inc. in Kenton Ohio. My favorite things are old pictures and letters. I have a Master of Arts degree in History. I'm really looking forward to being able to contribute!

                        • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                          Filomena Borba Newbie

                          Hi everyone! I'm Filomena from Portugal and I work in a University Library. I rely like history and everything related to books. I can't even get near a bookshop, it is my weakness, books. All kind of books and stories. And I'm very happy to collaborate with your project.

                          • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                            Jennifer Parker Wayfarer

                            Hi everyone!

                             

                            I'm Jennifer and I'm from California.  I'm a scientist, but I also enjoy reading and US history.  I love libraries too and am happy to contribute to a project that will help a major library make more historical US documents more accessible to everyone.  If there are any documents from scientists that need to be transcribed I would be very excited to help out with that as well.

                             

                            PS, When I was in Washington DC a few years ago I took a tour of the Jefferson building and it was love at first sight

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                Victoria Van Hyning Adventurer

                                Thanks Jennifer, and welcome! Glad you got to visit the Library in person and that you want to stay connected. There might be some science related material in 2019, but it will depend a little on how much we transcribe of the collections that are already online.

                                 

                                If you are able to join us virtually next Monday--the 19th of November--we're hosting an in person and virtual event around the 155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which will also serve as a launch event for Crowd. Everyone is encouraged to sign on and take part in the Letters to Lincoln Challenge. Learn more here: https://crowd-dev.loc.gov/latest/ 

                              • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                Henry Rosenberg Wayfarer

                                Hi. My name is Henry. I have a lifelong interest in History. I ahe read so much on Lincoln but was disappointed that EVERYBODY wanted to work on his papers and they were done quickly. I have chosen to focus on Mary Church Terrell. Amazing woman. One of the founders of the NAACP. She lived from 1863-1954. I'm learning a lot about Jim Crow and the discrimination African-Americans faced over the years. I have become adept at reading her handwriting so if anybody has questions, feel free to contact me. Among the tips, she frequently does not cross her small t's so they sometimes look like L's. She also will carry over words from one line to the other without a hyphen. If I think of anything else I will post it.

                                  • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                    Jennifer Parker Wayfarer

                                    I also noticed how many people gravitated toward the Lincoln papers, so I clicked around the other campaigns to see what other documents might need some love.  I decided to focus on William Oland Bourne and his Left-Hand Penmanship Contest.  Many of the entrants saw action in the most famous Civil War battles, and reading their first-person accounts  has given me a completely new perspective on the war.  Because so many different people entered, it is more challenging to read all of the handwriting, but it's a challenge I enjoy.  One tip I can give is that a lot of people back then used something similar to the German esset for words with a double "s;" many times it will look like there is an "fs" in a word which has a double "s."

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                    Rebecca M Newbie

                                    Hi all, I'm a government attorney by profession, but I took up genealogy as a hobby about 20 years ago. In the process of researching my ancestors, I became pretty adept at deciphering the handwriting in old documents. I studied the different styles of 19th century copperplate scripts and learned how to puzzle out the meaning from the scribbles. I hope I can put my somewhat estoteric skills to work for this historical project.

                                    • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                      Christy Ferguson Newbie

                                      Hi folks --

                                       

                                      I live in Durham, NC.  I'm a fan of history and have always loved primary documents.  I've long been a fan of the oral histories and photos from the Depression era that were made available by the LOC fifteen or so years ago. 

                                       

                                      I love a challenge and it's interesting to me how quickly my visual system is being retrained to be able to read handwriting again, though I see so little of it now in my day-to-day life. 

                                       

                                      So far, two of my favorites are a letter from someone who lost his position as paymaster, begging/demanding to be reinstated (I felt put-off and sorry for him in turns while reading), and the gift of a salmon by a Maine eccentric (and it was jarring to remember that as recently as 150 years ago, salmon was native). 

                                       

                                      I look forward to transcribing more of these letters, and things from other collections.  I'd be particularly interested in working on earlier materials after these.

                                       

                                      -Christy

                                      • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                        Lauren Algee Adventurer

                                        Welcome Christy Ferguson, Rebecca M, and Henry Rosenberg!  I'm excited that you've joined us in this transcription adventure and that you bring varied and interesting interest (but uniform enthusiasm) to the Library's collections!

                                        • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                          Christina McCormack Newbie

                                          Hello! I'm a social studies and science teacher in southern WV. I was initially drawn to the Lincoln papers, but after discovering the Mary Church Terrell campaign I was hooked. I am particularly interested in early 20th century America and I am inspired by her work. Since French was one of the areas I studied in college (in addition to history and psychology) I have enjoyed transcribing the documents in French, and I wish there was a way to search specifically for these documents. If there is, let me know. Like others, I hope that be assisting with this project I will contribute to history in some small way and learn along the way myself.

                                            • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                              Victoria Van Hyning Adventurer

                                              Welcome Christina! Mary Church Terrell is inspiring, isn't she?!

                                               

                                              You bring a great skill set to this project. Thanks for making time.

                                               

                                              There isn't a way of searching for specific languages on crowd.loc.gov yet, but here's a work around:

                                              1. Navigate from a Campaign, to a Project, to an Item (any one will do) for the person or collection your interested in.
                                              2. Click "view on loc.gov" button
                                              3. Get to the Item on loc.gov and locate the finding aid, usually on the right hand side of the page.
                                              4. Click the finding aid and then use the "search this finding aid" search field at the top to run a search. When I entered the word "french" into the box I came up with a few hits. Once you know what these items are called, you'll be able to go back into crowd.loc.gov to find them. From what I found her diaries from 1888-1890 are kept in French and German, so that's probably a good place to start.

                                              Keep us posted on your progress!

                                              -Victoria, Community Manager

                                              • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                suzanne piecuch Wayfarer

                                                Hi Christina,

                                                 

                                                Just another transcriber here, who found her way to history through literature.

                                                 

                                                I was awed seeing the multi-lingual transcriptions, and I think it's an extra talent to be able to do that, and i don't mean just being multi-lingual. I used to read and write in Polish when my parents lived, and it was interesting to see how my relatives' handwriting was different from anything I saw in the states. The script was finer, closer, not slanted, and distinguishable, and the letters themselves were slightly different cursive. Perhaps it was a family thing, but I suspect it was a cultural one.

                                                 

                                                That said, one had to familiarize oneself with that style in order to make out words that were difficult to begin with. But it was a puzzle I enjoyed, and a puzzle I enjoy still as I learn the styles of individuals' hands and go back time and again with an "a--HA!" and manage to unravel what at first seemed indecipherable.

                                                 

                                                Suzanne.

                                              • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                Beth Graham Wayfarer

                                                Hi, All --

                                                 

                                                I'm one of those "lifelong learner" types who likes to do a variety of things. I've been a children's and reference librarian, a proofreader, an elementary school supply (substitute) teacher, and crochet designer and teacher, and, most recently, a dedicated transcription volunteer with the Smithsonian Institution's Freemen's Bureau Project.

                                                 

                                                Glad to be here, too!

                                                 

                                                Beth

                                                  • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                    Lauren Algee Adventurer

                                                    Hi, Beth!  Happy to see you here on History Hub!

                                                     

                                                    I'm an embroiderer and sometimes find inspiration in archival collections -- I wonder if your crocheting is ever influenced by your travels through historic materials?

                                                      • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                        Beth Graham Wayfarer

                                                        Actually, it hasn't been so far. I'm always on the lookout for references to knitting, though, in my reading travels. (I'm an addicted knitter of socks.) If you're interested at all in knitting history, you should check out Anne Macdonald's book No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting. You might also be interested in Rose Wilder Lane's sometimes informative meanderings in Woman's Day Book of American Needlework, which covers all manner of handicrafts. (Bonus: Wilder Lane is Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, and there are photos of some family handiwork included.)

                                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                    • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                      Julianne Mangin Wayfarer

                                                      My name is Julianne Mangin, but you can call me Julie.  I retired from the Library of Congress in 2011.  I was a librarian and website developer.  When I arrived in 1998, I was put to work on the online exhibits.  I loved the work.  I was also one of the people who coordinated the look and content of the reading room websites.

                                                       

                                                      In retirement, I have been researching my family history and have written a book, which I am trying to get published.  You can find out about it by going to a URL that is my full name plus .com.  I also research local cemeteries and recently participated in a county survey of known burial sites. I have another website called petcemeterystories dot net where I post articles on the history I have uncovered about Aspin Hill Cemetery for Pet Animals, now known as Aspin Hill Memorial Park.

                                                       

                                                      There are two reasons I have decided to participate in this crowd sourcing endeavor.  The first is because I needed just this kind of help while researching the family history.  This is my way of paying back.  The second is that much of my family story has to do with the many women in my ancestry who were mentally ill patients at state hospitals in New England.  I read in your newsletter that the history of psychiatry is a future project, and I would really like to see what you have.  In the meantime, I am working on the Mary Church Terrell papers, so I will be ready.  Incidentally, I transcribed some letters in French in that collection.  It was a challenge, but I didn't know if you have any other transcribers with that ability.

                                                       

                                                      Julie

                                                        • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                          suzanne piecuch Wayfarer

                                                          Fascinating interests, Julie!

                                                           

                                                          Regarding your interest in psychiatry, have you ever been to the Glore Psychiatry Museum in Missouri? I stumbled upon it some years ago. Quite the surreal experience, as it's housed in an old ward and was creepily empty but for the displays of bizarre therapy methods and related paraphernalia.

                                                           

                                                          Also, I think of Nellie Bly who got herself committed in order to write an article about psychiatric wards. She had some nerve! Her story, "10 days in a Madhouse" is an intense chilling read and thankfully led to some reforms, if I remember it correctly.

                                                           

                                                          I look forward to checking out your website.

                                                           

                                                          Suzanne.

                                                          • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                            Lauren Algee Adventurer

                                                            Seconding suzanne piecuch's comments that family history sounds super interesting!  And I appreciate the thought in wanting to pay some transcription forward into the history community!

                                                             

                                                            We do have some exciting materials on the history of psychiatry lined up for release, hopefully in the next year. But in the meantime you might find your interests peaked by the already-available diaries of Clara Barton. Barton struggled with depression and mental exhaustion throughout her life. In 1876 she moved to a Danville, New York sanitorium for recuperation. In 1883-1884 Barton also served as superintendent of  Women's Reformatory Prison, Sherborn, Massachusetts; I imagine that work would also overlap with your interest in women's institutions.

                                                          • Re: Introduce yourself and meet the crowd.loc.gov community.
                                                            Jessica Kissir Newbie

                                                            Hello everyone! I am a public history grad student who loves documents and just really want to get my feet wet in the world of archives. This looks like it's going to be so much fun! I love research, books, American history, and this is like the best Christmas present ever!

                                                            Thanks!

                                                            Jess