Tomorrow is my last day working at the Library of Congress. In August I'll start a new job as an Assistant Professor of Library Innovation at the University of Maryland iSchool (School of Information). There I'll keep working on crowdsourcing in various ways, including through teaching and research.
It's been an absolute pleasure to serve as a By the People Community Manager for the last 18 months or so, working with Lauren Algee,Carlyn Osborn, Law Library of Congress LOC Manuscript Division, and others. I joined the Library in July 2018 specifically to work on this project. I've loved partnering with specialists from across the Library, and volunteers from around the world. I'm constantly impressed with people's ability to read different types of handwriting and languages, and to engage deeply with new topics.
Here are some impressive stats:
- To date we've published 17 Campaigns, 10 of which are complete!
- Many of these feature writings by women who fought for women's suffrage and equality for African Americans, including Mary Church Terrell, Anna Dickinson, and Rosa Parks.
- Our newest Campaign, just out today, is one of our largest yet, and features letters written to Teddy Roosevelt--"Rough Rider to Bull Moose: Letters to Theodore Roosevelt."
- Volunteers have completed 130,796 pages, and another 37,000 or so are in review.
- We've posed 10 challenges to volunteers, 9 of which have been successfully completed, including Barton and Lomax birthday review challenges.
What the stats don't capture though, is the everyday joy of hearing from people who are contributing to this project, be they students, retirees, librarians, teachers or folks who manage to squeeze in transcription and review around busy work, family, and personal lives. It's been especially uplifting during the Covid-19 lockdown when we were able to continue working from home and offering new By the People materials to keep up with growing demand.
Wishing everyone in this community a happy, healthy, safe road ahead.