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Presidential Paper Bonanza and Spanish Language Challenge

Letters to Presidents: Lincoln and Roosevelt

Last week, volunteers completed the final pages of the Letters to Lincoln Campaign - our largest original launch collection, with over 28,000 pages! It contains materials in German (the subject of a cool recent blog post by our LC colleague David Morris), French, Neo-Aramaic, Italian, and other languages, a mix of handwritten texts, and occasional newsprint in very small type. Volunteers have done an amazing job getting this over the line!

You can read through the texts on By the People at any time, and see some of the transcriptions back on already, where we'll add the remainder before too long. Thanks for making the Letters to Lincoln accessible for readers and researchers of the present and future, including those with low or no vision, and those who can't read cursive. Read more about how we get transcriptions from By the People to, in a recent blog post by outgoing community manager Victoria Van Hyning. 

The stars have aligned, because just as you all have wrapped up Lincoln, we have a new presidential letters Campaign for you: Rough Rider to Bull Moose: Letters to Theodore Roosevelt. This Campaign features not only TR's own writings, but letters from citizens, politicians, foreign nationals, friends, family, and many others who sought the ear of this busy man at various points in his career. TR was a prolific writer of books, articles, and especially letters, and received as much mail as he sent. His letters covered subjects as diverse as politics and political reform, wars and military policy, foreign relations, books and literature, family life, pets, the natural world, history, simplified spelling, cattle ranching, coal strikes, social functions, camping trips and safaris. With an eye to the future, Roosevelt often wrote with the knowledge that many of his letters could be available to the public someday. Transcriptions of his voluminous correspondence will shed light on the issues that came before him, both in his public career and private life, and provide clues on how he hoped to be viewed by posterity.

Presidential Challenge Completed!

In the run up to July 4th we set you a tough challenge – the complete transcription and review of a brand new George Washington Campaign. You rose to the challenge (as always!) and have completed these often hard-to-read Revolutionary War receipts and Red Coat deserter interrogation records. The Campaign and all its supporting blogs and resources are available to peruse if you missed out on the challenge. 

Herencia Challenge home-stretch

Can you help complete the final few pages of the Laws & Statutes: Agriculture, Conservation, Hunting and Fishing project, in the Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents Campaign? There are just a handful of pages left! Challenge progress is updated regularly on our discussion forum. Did you know that everyone is welcome to join the discussion or just read through the discussion threads? You'll learn about interesting things that people find as they transcribe, as well as some great tips for speeding up transcription, including tips for using free OCR tools on printed texts. 

Wishing you all a safe, healthy summer and many happy transcription and review sessions in the future!

In gratitude,

-Victoria and the By the People team

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