Community Transcription – Thirty-One Months

November 27th, 2013

In the thirty-one months since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, we have been steadily adding transcribers. What started with just a dozen or so volunteers has grown into an active, vigorous community of volunteer transcribers.

Here is the monthly snapshot at our transcription activity:

As of this morning, we have 1,621 users, with approximately 79 new transcribers signed up since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 11,506 saves to War Department documents, which is about 150 additional edits since the last update. Additionally, transcribers have initiated roughly 500 conversations using the “talk” feature. We also know that on average, each document is edited about three times before it is finished. Moreover, we have had 104,958 total page views.

By now we have an incredibly rich variety of folks transcribing, including undergraduate and graduate students, docents, genealogists, and history enthusiasts. Transcribers also include teachers at every level of education, elementary to university. Those who specified an interest or focus included the Haitian Revolution, Fries Rebellion, yellow fever, and historic sites. Some of our transcribers have no particular interest in the War Department Papers, but are evaluating Scripto to use in their own projects.

The documents also vary widely in content. Many of them deal with pay for soldiers or officers. Some are short receipts while others are lengthy transcripts of speeches or treaties. There are request from veterans and their widows for pension payments and applications by refugees from Canada for relief.

As we continue to move forward with the project, users may still register for a transcription account.