Transcribathon

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A transcribathon is an event running for a pre-determined number of hours (generally, 3-12 hours), in which participants transcribe and encode manuscripts, individually or in small groups, in the same room or across many rooms simultaneously.

If you are interested in hosting an EMMO transcribathon at your institution, please contact Heather Wolfe (hwolfe@folger.edu). EMMO transcribathons generally involve food, fun, entertaining manuscripts, transcription sprints, prizes, and an easy-to-use online transcription platform called Dromio. We tailor the manuscript content and the difficulty of the handwriting to the needs of the host institution, and offer a short tutorial in deciphering secretary hand if desired.

Transcriptions from past and future EMMO transcribathons will be added to a searchable EMMO database and made available to users beginning in 2017.

A timeline of EMMO transcribathons:

  • December 4, 2014: Transcribe the Renaissance, a noon-to-midnight Transcribathon in conjunction with the Kislak Center held at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • March 18, 2015: Transcribathon at UVa Transcribathon in conjunction with the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
  • May 19, 2015: Transcription Night or Transcribathon , 5:30-8:30 PM, at the Big Board on H Street.
  • October 7, 2015: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC) at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
  • October 24, 2015: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • November 13, 2015: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Humanities Center, VCU Libraries and VCU department of English at the University of Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, VA.
  • December 15, 2015: Transcription Night or Transcribathon , 5:30-7:30 PM, at the Big Board on H Street.
  • April 17, 2016: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.
  • June 7, 2016: Transcription Night or Transcribathon, 5:30-7:30 PM, at the Big Board on H Street.
  • September 14, 2016: Transcribathon in association with The UConn Humanities Institute. From 10 am – 4 pm in the Great Hall of the Alumni Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
  • November 9, 2016: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC) at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
  • December 6, 2016: "Brews and Brevigraphs" or Transcribathon at the Folger Shakespeare Library. A joint event between Introduction to English Paleography & Practical Paleography.
  • March 8, 2017: Transcribathon in association with Wellesley College, Massachusetts. From 12.30pm - 5.30pm in the Pendleton Knapp Atrium. The event will transcribe the Trevelyon Miscellany
  • April 7, 2017: Second Transcribathon in conjunction with the Humanities Center, VCU Libraries and VCU department of English at the University of Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, VA.
  • April 17, 2017: Second Transcribathon, in association with The University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. From 4 pm – 7 pm in the Homer D. Babbidge Library, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
  • May 18, 2017: Second "Brews and Brevigraphs" or Transcribathon at the Folger Shakespeare Library as part of Early Modern Manuscripts Online: New Directions in Teaching and Research
  • April 24, 2018: Transcribathon in association with SUNY University of Buffalo 's Experiential Learning Network; the Center of Excellence in Writing; Digital Composition Lab; Department of Theatre and Dance; Early Modern Research Workshop. From 10am – 3pm. Folger staff attending to lead and support the transcribathon: Sarah Powell.
  • June 7, 2018: Transcribathon as part of the Mellon Summer Institute in English Paleography at the Folger Shakespeare Library taught by Heather Wolfe. From 10am – 5pm.



Transcribathons using Dromio, the Folger's online transcription tool:

  • Oct 25, 2017: Transcribathon in conjunction with Archive's Month. From 12pm-7pm in Swarthmore's Public Library, PA.
  • Nov 7, 2017: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC). This is a virtual transcribathon.
  • Apr 9, 2018: Transcribathon using Dromio at Roger Williams University, Rhode Island.
  • July 17th, 2018: "Pizza and Paleography" night using Dromio at the Omohundro Institute, Virginia.


Further links:

BBC World News: Cookbook features recipes to cure the plague
VCU Transcribathon: Creating and empowering a community of new paleographers
VCU Transcribathon: Can you read early modern English?
The Community of the Transcribathon
Wellesley Transcribathon
The Collation EMMO