Community Transcription: December 2017 and January 2018

February 5th, 2018

December 2017 and January 2018 marked the eightieth and eighty-first months, respectively, since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last two months:

Thirty-eight new transcribers signed up in December and January which brings the total number of transcribers up to 3,089 as of January 31, 2018. The individuals who signed up in in the last two months mentioned an interest in forts along the Delaware River, scouts on the frontier, the settlement of Ohio, the first and second Canadian regiments, West Point, and the Chickamauga Tribe.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding clothing for John Schrider; clothing for troops in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; one pair of woolen overalls for each man; woolen overalls for the Marines; clothing for troops; files, pod augers, & ship saws, etc.; military bounty claim; delivery of shoes; and clothing for Gamble’s troops.

Our community of transcribers have added 234 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 22,390. Overall, we have had 792,858 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

 

New Grants to Support PWD

December 18th, 2017

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM) received two grants in 2017 that will ensure the long-term stability and accessibility of the Papers of the War Department (PWD).

The first comes from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) as one of five digital extension grants to migrate PWD to Omeka S that will offer efficient upgrade of the infrastructure and will provide a path for long-term preservation and access, while also allowing the team to redesign the user interface. This will enable greater use and discoverability of these early federal documents. Once fully migrated to Omeka S, the project’s existing metadata, which includes the names of thousands of individuals and geographic places referenced in correspondence, will be connected across the semantic web as linked open data.

The second grant, awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Office of Digital Humanities (NEH-ODH), funds an upgrade to Scripto, the transcription tool used by the PWD and many other community transcription projects. The new Scripto will be available as a module for Omeka S. Both projects will fund the creation of new documentation, lesson plans, and best practices that will increase the accessibility of sources within PWD and put the technology used to build the project within reach of cultural heritage organizations in managing their own community transcription projects.

We are extremely grateful to ACLS and NEH-ODH for these opportunities to extend and sustain access to these important documents from the early American republic. Sheila Brennan, RRCHNM’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, is leading both grants and is working together with a talented team. Jim Safley, PWD’s original web architect, leads the migration and Scripto development process; Kim Nguyen, RRCHNM’s lead web designer, is redesigning the PWD public-facing website as well as the user experience for the Scripto module; PWD’s Editor-in-Chief Christopher Hamner is working with Sheila Brennan to develop educational resources for upper-level high school and undergraduate students and teachers; Alyssa Fahringer is PWD’s Project Manager and an Assistant Editor who is coordinating the work on both grants, and is working together with Digital History Associate, Megan Brett on audience research, user testing, and outreach.

Since June, the team has made significant progress on assessing and preparing for the migration and in researching the needs of our uses. This fall, we surveyed current users of Scripto and our valued community of PWD transcribers about their experiences with the current website and its workflows. We will post a summary of the feedback we received early in the new year.

We are excited for these opportunities to continue to improve and enhance the PWD, and will be posting periodic updates on our progress here on the PWD blog.

Community Transcription: November 2017

December 4th, 2017

November 2017 marked the seventy-ninth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Forty-one new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 3,051 as of November 30, 2017. The individuals who signed up in November mentioned an interest in the early years of the US Navy, Benjamin Stoddert, Tellico Blockhouse, William Blountthe Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and the Treaty of Holston. 

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding clothing and accounting, resolving land issues at the legislature, request for recommendation of command and supply officers, request for character witness concerning officers, preparation for the expedition to the westward, transportation and costs, discussion of raising a company of troops, and accurate information about the northwestern frontier and Mississippi River.

Our community of transcribers have added 307 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 22,156. Overall, we have had 767,564 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: October 2017

November 1st, 2017

October 2017 marked the seventy-eighth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Thirty-two new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 3,010 as of October 31, 2017. The individuals who signed up in October mentioned an interest in the state militia units, the early US Navy, colonial Virginia, and Army uniforms.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding shipment of clothing for troops, estimate of the pay and forage of the troopsstocks sawed from dogwood, delay of Colonel Sargent’s stores, money forwarded, delivery, delivery of silver, Major Craig sends status report to Secretary of War, new certificate for payment, return of the legion of the United States, account information, instructions for mustering and paying troops, accountant office policy, request for information on the account of Captain Olie, clothing, stores, disbursements, pay problems, requests order of spirits for western military, provisions and transportation, murder of peaceful Indians, court martial at West Point, regarding Massachusetts troops to be raised, and regarding camp kettles and other supplies.

Our community of transcribers have added 788 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 21,849. Overall, we have had 757,143 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: September 2017

October 2nd, 2017

September 2017 marked the seventy-seventh month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty-one new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,978 as of September 30, 2017. The individuals who signed up in September mentioned an interest in the Cherokee nation, the Whiskey Rebellion, and Robert Elliot.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding returns for September & October 1798, funding and currency, estimate of pay & forage due the detachments, delivery of dispatches, estimate of cost to transport sundry stores from Philadelphia, request for arms, accounts and receipts enclosed, packets and letters addressed to Major Craig, general bookkeeping, and travel safety.

Our community of transcribers have added 105 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 21,061. Overall, we have had 740,905 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: August 2017

September 5th, 2017

August 2017 marked the seventy-sixth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Seventeen new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,957 as of August 31, 2017. The individuals who signed up in August mentioned an interest in Lamb’s regiment, the XYZ Affair, the Iroquois, and Wayne’s campaign.

Newly transcribed documents include: Knox informs Martin of appointment, letter to the commissioner of Army accounts, state’s charges against Becker, letter from James Seagrove to Timothy Bernard on Indian matters, delivery of marquees and tent poles, request for issue of rolled iron to Springfield Armory, request from North Carolina line, and circular instructions for naval constructors.

Our community of transcribers have added 93 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,956. Overall, we have had 733,762 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: July 2017

August 8th, 2017

July 2017 marked the seventy-fifth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Eighteen new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,940 as of July 31, 2017. The individuals who signed up in July mentioned an interest in the Battle of the Wabash/St. Clair’s defeat, the Georgia lowcountry, and Spanish Florida.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding a sorrel horse for the Wyandot chief, requests orders to lift goods from French schooner, immediate clothing for the recruiting service, kentledge to be transported to Philadelphia, description of quarto books for the Army, requests payment for Joseph Habersham, corrects cannonball dimensions for Secretary of the Treasury, and compensation for seizure of cattle.

Our community of transcribers have added 247 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,863. Overall, we have had 729,956 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: June 2017

July 5th, 2017

June 2017 marked the seventy-fourth month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Five new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,922 as of June 30, 2017. The individuals who signed up in June mentioned an interest in the interactions between Native Americans and the federal government.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding bayonets to bayonet scabbard contractors for fitting, certificates due Mrs. Williams and John Jones, call for militia to defend the western territory, loss of faithful clerks, construction and insurrection, and strength of character, quality of pay.

Our community of transcribers have added 99 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,616. Overall, we have had 709,285 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: May 2017

June 5th, 2017

May 2017 marked the seventy-third month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty-one new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,917 as of May 31, 2017. These individuals who signed up in May mentioned an interest in people and topics such as Edward Boylston, Moses Hazen, Alien and Sedition Acts, and treaties with the Seneca Nation.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding explanation of departure from Washington as mourning for son’s death, death is still making havoc, two-thirds required to inflict the death penalty, circular letter requiring payment of balances, secretary of the state’s opinion regarding presidential power over officers’ commissions, supply of 24-pounder cannons, fortification expenditures for 1801, contract for iron ball and kentledge, claims of certain Canadian refugees, proclamation forbidding sale of lands west of Ohio River, and discussion of belligerent and neutral ships.

Our community of transcribers have added 158 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,517. Overall, we have had 704,415 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.

Community Transcription: April 2017

May 1st, 2017

April 2017 marked the seventy-second month since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, and over five years after launch we still receive requests for transcriber accounts! Here is a snapshot of transcription activity for last month:

Twenty-two new transcribers signed up last month which brings the total number of transcribers up to 2,896 as of April 30, 2017. These individuals who signed up in April mentioned an interest in people and topics such as the history of the Cherokee Nation, John Jacob Ulrich Rivardi, Christopher Miller, the Whiskey Rebellion, Arthur St. Clair, and the Oneida nation.

Newly transcribed documents include ones regarding results from the negotiations with hostile Indians, companies ordered to join Virginia militia on the Ohio, information on Lieutenant Armstrong, no expeditions to Indian towns, Indian engagement and training, and comparing calvary systems. Transcribers also transcribed documents reflecting last month’s theme of the international affairs including: concerning the protection of Lafayette’s son and diplomatic relations with France, clothing and foreign relations, diplomatic relations with France, recommendations for informal war with France, speculation regarding the policies of the French directory, and rules of neutrality.

Our community of transcribers have added 147 transcribed pages to War Department documents, with the total number of saves being 20,359. Overall, we have had 700,076 page views.

Follow us on Twitter (@wardeptpapers) where we’ll be posting documents in need of transcription throughout the month.

Interested in contributing to the project? Individuals can register for a transcription account and become a transcription associate.