Crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress: The Latest

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Happy Birthday, Alan Lomax!

Friday, January 31 marks the 105th birthday of folklorist Alan Lomax. All month we’ve challenged you to review "The Man Who Recorded the World" pages to help us get to 3,000 completed pages to celebrate his legacy, and the traditions of those whom he recorded and interviewed. From 1936 to 1966 Lomax recorded thousands of tradition-bearers in the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. The notebooks and letters of Alan Lomax, his family, and collaborators featured in By the People serve as the bedrock of our understanding of 20th-century American and Caribbean folk music.

We’re in the home stretch – do you think we can hit our goal by the end of January? 2,700 Lomax pages are complete, so only 300 to go! Can you review just one page to make this important cultural history more searchable and accessible for all? Jump into review here.

New campaign on the way

By the People is also preparing a new campaign. We’ve been teasing this addition for over a year can’t wait for you to finally dive in! Wondering its subject? Here’s a hint: She was the first woman to lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. Stay tuned to learn more next week!

An evergreen challenge

We regularly publish volunteer-created transcriptions on the Library's main website,, to make documents keyword searchable, and accessible to people who use screen readers or who can't read cursive. So far we've added over 8,000 of your completed transcriptions there. Review is the final step to complete a page and we only publish items where every page has been completed. So if 97 pages of a 100 page document are complete but 3 need review, we won't publish the document to until all pages are done.

To help narrow the gap between completed pages on BTP and those on, we challenge you to seek out and review almost complete documents--those with just a few pages needing review! If you make edits on a page, it will still need another round of review. Try working in tandem with a friend, colleague, family member, or another volunteer (you can look for a review partner on History Hub). Completing almost finished items will make a dramatic difference in the number of pages we can make accessible! More details on how to find and finish items here.

Thanks for a great start to 2020!

Lauren and the By the People team