The following is a post by Library of Congress Manuscript Division's Civil War Specialist Michelle Krowl.
When President Abraham Lincoln (in the form of George Buss of Illinois) recently visited the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, Civil War specialist Michelle Krowl put him to work reviewing transcriptions in the “Letters to Lincoln” campaign, part of the Library’s By the People crowdsourcing project. Lincoln did his part, and now you can too!
Civil War Specialist Michelle Krowl shows off Letters to Lincoln crowdsourcing campaign to Lincoln interpreter George Buss. Photo by Shawn Miller.
To commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and Presidents’ Week, the By the People team has issued a challenge to the public: finish the 420 pages needing review in the 1865-1889 group between February 12 and February 21. The sooner this section is completed, the sooner these transcriptions can be made available for keyword searching, reading, and downloading through the online Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
With every page you review, you contribute to the accessibility of Abraham Lincoln’s papers, and get a glimpse into Lincoln’s world by reading his mail.
Challenge start - Feb. 12, 2020
Pages in review - 420
Update! Feb. 25, 2020
Pages left in review - 29
Pages left in progress - 12
We kicked off on Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12 with the goal of completing all of the project “1865-1889: Assassination and aftermath” by the end of Presidents’ Week, Feb. 21. 426 pages in the project “needed review” at kick off. We chose this challenge with the goal of adding all 1,581 pages of transcriptions in this section to loc.gov in 2020. Volunteers jumped in to quickly move the number of items to only 128 “needing review” within two days. However, during the next week progress stalled somewhat and as of today 29 assets remain “in review” and 12 are “in progress”. Spot checking shows that these pages that remain uncompleted are extremely challenging! Most are in languages other than English, very dense printed text, or barely legible. We hope you still will try jumping into review of these pages here!
Despite not meeting our challenge completion goal, you did a great job of bumping up review across Letters to Lincoln! During the challenge the rate of daily Lincoln page completion doubled or tripled and has remained high in the days following. You can see this in the Letters to Lincoln campaign data below where the challenge timeline is highlighted in blue.
Thanks for all the Lincoln love and we hope you'll keep plugging along at review of 1865-1889 pages here!
Message was edited by: Lauren Algee