Crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress: The Latest

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Black History Month, February Birthdays, and a new Lincoln Challenge

We have a lot to celebrate and reflect on this month including Black History Month, and the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, and Susan B. Anthony. We have plenty of By the People materials for you to explore, transcribe, and review in honor of all these themes and people. 

Black History Month and Frederick Douglass Day

"In his own marvelous fight from the degradation and curse of slavery to the blessings of freedom Mr. Douglass has set us an example of resolution, determination, faith and hope which we should do well to imitate. Catching the spirit of that great and good man let us resolve that neither principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth nor any other creature shall separate us from the love of our cause or frighten us from the discharge of those obligations and duties toward it which rest upon us to day." -Mary Church Terrell, "The Woman Suffrage Movement and Frederick Douglass" speech, 1908

We're celebrating Douglass Day on February 14th, his chosen birthday. Douglass Day was founded by Mary Church Terrell in 1897 as a celebration in the Washington, D.C. colored schools to honor the legacy of her friend and fellow activist Frederick Douglass. Terrell spoke often of his contributions to women's suffrage and the long fight for freedom for African Americans. Several of Terrell's speeches about Douglass still need to be transcribed and reviewed before we can publish them on the Library of Congress main website: 

This Douglass Day, the By the People team will join our friends at the Colored Conventions Project at Howard University, for a transcribe-a-thon featuring Anna Julia Cooper, a contemporary of Terrell and Douglass. Check out their project here. 

A birthday challenge for President Lincoln and Black History month

February 12th is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. The proximity of his and Douglass's birthdays was the original impetus for black historian Carter G. Woodson to establish "Negro History Week," the forerunner of Black History Month. From February 12th to the 21st, we challenge you to help us review and complete the 1865-1889 Letters to Lincoln project, which covers Lincoln's assassination and its aftermath. We chose these materials because with just 426 pages we know it's the perfect size for you, our talented volunteers, to complete. If we meet our goal, we'll be able to add all 1,581 pages of transcriptions in this section to in 2020. Keep track of progress here. 

Happy Birthday, Susan B. Anthony

February 15th marks the bicentenary of Susan B. Anthony's birth. On that day, we invite you to reflect on her contributions to the movement. Her daybooks and diaries need your review skills. Many of these pages are short and can take as little as a minute to review as you learn about her daily life. 

Rosa Parks, catch her while you can

Our new Rosa Parks Campaign is going fast! We launched on her birthday, February 4th, and over 1,690 pages have already been transcribed, of which 772 are complete. Well done! We can't wait to publish your transcriptions back on where they'll make Parks's papers more accessible for search and for people who use screen readers. Get involved while you can! 

-Victoria, Lauren, and the By the People team

Click here for more information.