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Welcome, MetaFiltarians!

Visits to our web pages typically drop over the weekend, so we were very pleasantly surprised this morning to see traffic for our crowdsourcing site, DIY History, up almost 2000% thanks to an entry on the link-sharing site MetaFilter. Even better than the statistics are the hundreds of newly transcribed pages, including the one belowContinue reading “Welcome, MetaFiltarians!”

Crowdsourcing sneak preview

Shhh… we’re quietly rolling out a soft launch for DIY History, our expanded crowdsourcing site that’s replacing the Civil War Diaries & Letters Transcription Project. Please have a look around and try out the new functionality and content as we do some last-minute tweaking, then check back next week for what we hope will be a much louder officialContinue reading “Crowdsourcing sneak preview”

Civil War letters back in Iowa and ready for transcription

With almost 13,000 pages completed, our crowdsourcing volunteers are wrapping up their efforts to transcribe the UI’s collection of Civil War diaries and letters in order to make them easier to search and browse. But it turns out that that finish line is a moving target, since publicity from the project has attracted new CivilContinue reading “Civil War letters back in Iowa and ready for transcription”

Crowdsourcing continued

Expanding our manuscript transcription crowdsourcing site to include materials outside of the Civil War collections is taking longer than expected — apparently digitizing thousands of pages of manuscript cookbooks dating from the 17th century is not quite as straightforward as one would wish. But the scanning is finally underway, and we’re using the extra timeContinue reading “Crowdsourcing continued”

Civil War transcription tips

For the sake of consistency in the transcriptions of the Civil War diaries and letters, here are a few more guidelines and a short list of some common abbreviations and older spellings: Enter line breaks to indicate sections of the letter – salutations, paragraphs, signatures, postscripts Do not transcribe text that has been crossed out,Continue reading “Civil War transcription tips”

Love & war

Over on the Twitter account for the Libraries’ Civil War transcription crowdsourcing project, we’re taking a break from our Black History Month tweets to highlight some Valentine’s Day content, such as Albert Cross’s 1862 diary entry indicating a conflicted relationship with the holiday: “I wish the mail would come as this is Valentine’s Day. IContinue reading “Love & war”

A Civil War Christmas letter

In contrast to today’s holiday letters summarizing the year’s major events, Lieut. Andrew F. Davis’ Christmas note to daughters Orrilla, age 8, and Nan, age 5, catalogs the day-to-day minutiae of life in a Civil War camp. Mixed in with holiday greetings (“I hope Santa Claus in his rambles last night did not miss theContinue reading “A Civil War Christmas letter”

Crowdsourcing correspondence

The crowdsourcing project for Civil War diaries transcription has been so successful that we’re happy to announce its expansion to include the digital collection’s correspondence — all 5800+ pages of it. As before, we’re asking you to help improve the usefulness of these materials by transcribing handwritten pages in order to make them full-text searchable,Continue reading “Crowdsourcing correspondence”

Tweeting Civil War diaries

It took some 19th-century journals to drag us into using the 21st-century equivalent, but we’re finally on Twitter. Follow us at UIL-transcripts, or drop by the Civil War Diaries Transcription Project site to read our Tweets and see other enhancements, including newly-added diaries and an improved design (we’re still smarting from the old version being comparedContinue reading “Tweeting Civil War diaries”