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Volunteer to Transcribe Documents

Have you put volunteer opportunities on hold over the past year due to concerns about the risk of in-person volunteering? Whether you’ve already found ways to give back lately or you’re just looking to join the growing population of volunteers who are donating their time without ever leaving their living room, Hannon Library Special Collections could use your support.

Special Collections and University Archives is an area within the library that contains materials of significant historical and research value that are too valuable, rare, or fragile to place in the open stacks. Many of these materials are primary sources that can elevate students’ research and cover a range of topics.

If you’d like to support the community that uses these resources within Hannon Library, Special Collections has an opportunity for you. Hannon Library is looking for volunteers who can transcribe several handwritten documents created between 1880 and 1939. The transcription of these documents will allow primary source materials to become keyword-searchable and more comfortable to read. Some of the materials are currently indistinct, in cursive, abbreviated, or use specific jargon. Your donation of time will ultimately help student researchers and local historians by making these unique materials easier for them to use. While volunteers have already begun transcribing materials, we are always looking for new volunteers.

Who Can Participate

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Anyone with a computer, internet access, and Microsoft Word can participate in this transcription effort. History buffs may find this volunteer opportunity particularly rewarding as the materials that need transcribing document the experiences of Dr. Francis G. Swedenburg and the Anderson–Phillips family, including how their lives were affected by WWI’s bitter conflict and the Spanish flu.

For more information about this project and how to volunteer, visit Hannon Library’s online exhibit. For information explaining the transcription process, visit the How To Transcribe page.