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Douglass Day Read- and Transcribe-a-thon

By Laura Johnson

On February 14th, the NULab, the Women Writers Project, and the Digital Scholarship Group hosted a read- and transcribe-a-thon in celebration of Frederick Douglass’s birthday. This event was part of a national celebration co-produced by the Colored Conventions Project at the University of Delaware and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

During our Douglass Day celebration, faculty, staff, and students from Northeastern and beyond gathered in the Digital Media Commons to help transcribe documents for the African American Civil War Soldiers project and the Boston Public Library’s Anti-Slavery Manuscripts project. Fueled by pizza, snacks, and birthday cake, the transcribers worked together to decipher difficult-to-read handwritten notes, decode unknown abbreviations, and discuss new information. During the event, we live-streamed the program from the Colored Convention Project, listening to speakers reflect on Douglass’s legacy, and enjoyed a number of musical performances. We also discussed several texts by and about Douglass. Over nine hundred people across the country were registered to participate this year.

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate, transcribe, and read Douglass’s work. We hope to see you for next year’s celebration!

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