You can contribute to transcriptions and help make historical documents more accessible to the public.
The pilot project includes more than 300 documents (about 1,000 pages) dating from the late 18th to the 20th century: letters to a civil war spy, fugitive slave case files, suffrage petitions and more. All are digitized in NARA’s online catalog; the transcriptions will make them text-searchable.
Just a few of the interesting documents I saw were
- George Summers Letter on Confederate War Prisoners
- the petition of Jacob Cook in a Fugitive Slave Petition Book from the District Court for the District of Maryland
- an 1866 contract between “James Mitchell and Dick and Wife” from the Freedmen’s Bureau
- Ann Taylor v. Thomas Hart indenture case file from 1773.
If you want to learn more about a document, you can click on the title, then look for the National Archives Indentifier number and click on that.
You can search for documents to transcribe or browse them by difficulty level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), year it was created, and the status of transcription (“Not Yet Started,” “Partially Transcribed” or “Completed”).
The Citizen Archivist Dashboard also offers opportunities to tag images and records, upload photos of records and contribute to online articles.