Community Transcription – Thirty-Five Months

March 26th, 2014

In the thirty-five months since we opened the War Department archives to community transcription, we have continued to add transcribers. We are still receiving daily requests for transcription accounts.

Here is a snapshot of transcription activity in the last month:

As of this morning, we have 1,758 users, with approximately 34 new transcribers signed up since the last update. Those volunteer transcribers have made 12,280 saves to War Department documents, which is about 94 additional edits since the last update. We also know that, on average, each document is edited about three times before it is finished. Moreover, we have had 139,190 total page views.

We have an incredibly rich variety of folks transcribing, including undergraduate and graduate students, independent scholars, genealogists, veterans, preservationists, and living history practitioners. Transcribers include teachers at every level of education, elementary to university. In addition to the many transcribers in the United States who registered in the last month, we have transcribers from the United Kingdom, Canada, and India. Those who specified an interest or focus mentioned topics such as trade, pensions, events in Virginia, and the history of medicine.

The documents vary widely in content. Recently completed transcriptions include the daily business of a Navy Yard, explanation of a denied claim for supplies provided a party of Native Americans, and a query about the price of furniture in Philadelphia.

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

Request for Transcribers: The Jay Treaty

March 12th, 2014

The Jay Treaty with Great Britain was very controversial at the time. In this letter to Baltimore merchant Robert Oliver, Secretary of War James McHenry warns that if the House doesn’t appropriate funding for the Treaty, the British will not withdraw their troops from the Western posts.