Hear from a volunteer transcribing the Casey Family Papers

Mar 30, 2020

Historic New England recently launched a crowdsourced transcription initiative to complement a massive project that digitized more than 41,500 items from the Casey Family Papers.

Letter from William P. Craighill to Thomas Lincoln Casey, April 1, 1890.

Transforming Washington, DC: The Impact of Thomas Lincoln Casey and Edward Pearce Casey on the Nation’s Capital made the personal and professional papers of Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896) and his son Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) accessible online. It was supported by a grant from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission.

We are delighted that our members and others have enthusiastically engaged in transcribing the Casey documents. As part of the process, two long-time volunteers who worked on preparing the materials for digitization are now reviewing and approving the transcriptions.

Susan Jarvis, one of the volunteers reviewing crowdsourced transcriptions, said this of the process:

“Working on these transcriptions is both fun and challenging. Having looked only cursorily at these documents while prepping them for digitization, it’s fun to be able to spend time actually reading them. It’s deciphering the nineteenth-century handwriting that can be the challenging part!

“I’m impressed by the number of people who are lending their hands at transcribing for us so far. They are keeping us busy reviewing their work, which usually requires very few corrections. Not surprisingly I have noticed an uptick in transcribed documents as we all spend more time at home.”

If you’re working from home these days and looking for a new project, transcribing these papers is a fun, easy way to make important historical documents more accessible to everyone.

Interested in getting involved? Become a digital volunteer.