We’re Back!

The Papers of the War Department team is happy to announce that we’re back online!

The last time you heard from us, we were putting transcriptions on hold to start a total redesign of the Papers of the War Department website with the support of a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies. This included migrating nearly 200 gigabytes of Papers of the War Department items, metadata, and image files into Omeka S, which now powers the website with a fully redesigned look and feel. We’ve also released an updated beta version of the Scripto plugin, which is facilitating transcription, with updated functionality for an easier transcription process.

We’ve made a number of changes since then. We updated the user experience, refining both the design of the website and the ways that you can navigate through it. This includes new browse pages to explore the Papers, and a Teach section with lesson plans to incorporate the documents into the classroom. We’ve also updated the transcription interface, making the experience more streamlined with a new media viewer and text editor. Underneath all of these exciting changes, however, are still the over 40,000 documents that have always made up the Papers of the War Department collection, including thousands of documents that are still awaiting transcription. Please explore! If you get stuck, refer to the Guides section that provides documentation for both browsing and transcribing. If you’re still stuck, reach out to us at

We also want to acknowledge our amazing redesign team who made all of these updates happen. Sheila Brennan led the team as our first Principal Investigator until June 2018, when our Editor-in-Chief Christopher Hamner moved into this role. Both Brennan and Hamner have been essential to keeping the vision of the project central to the redesign process. Alyssa Fahringer kept the team organized as the Project Manager during the first phase of the redesign, while Jessica Dauterive has stepped in as Project Manager since January 2019. Our lead developer Jim Safley oversaw the migration of all PWD content to the new website and designed the new Scripto module, while our lead designer Kim Nguyen fully redesigned the website and user experience. Megan Brett continues to serve as Outreach Coordinator, making sure to keep the Papers of the War Department community going strong.

So, welcome back to the Papers of the War Department! Browse the Collection, explore the Teach pages, and sign up here for a new transcription account to join our community of volunteers.