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A transcribathon is a community 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 ( 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. You are welcome to adapt our one-page intro that we give out at transcribathons and share the Dromio Help page. ‎

Transcriptions from past and future EMMO transcribathons will be added to Early Modern Manuscripts Online.

Resources developed by EMMO partners for using Dromio during transcribathons:

A timeline of transcribathons sponsored by EMMO and/or hosted by other institutions using Dromio and Folger manuscript (note: this list is not exhaustive because we can't keep track of all of them; let us know if you would like to be added to this list!):





  • March 2, 2018: Transcribathon in conjunction with EMROC, from 10am-4pm at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Described here.
  • April 9, 2018: Transcribathon using Dromio at Roger Williams University, Rhode Island.
  • 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.
  • July 17, 2018: "Pizza and Paleography" night using Dromio at the Omohundro Institute, Virginia.
  • September 18, 2018: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Early Modern Recipes Online Collective (EMROC). This is an international virtual transcribathon.
  • September 20, 2018: Transcribathon using Dromio at the McKay Archives Center, Florida Southern College, 4-10pm, organized by Catherine Eskin.
  • Oct 25, 2018: Transcribathon in conjunction with the Early Modern Poetry Online Project (EMPOP). This is an international virtual transcribathon.
  • November 9, 2018: Transcribathon in association with VCU Libraries and the Superscripts, a student group within the VCU department of English at the University of Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, VA.
  • December 14, 2018: Transcribathon (a.k.a. the John Ward smackdown) as part of the Folger Institute Introduction to Paleography and in collaboration with transcribers at the University of Connecticut.


  • March 16, 2019: [Transcribathon] in parternship with the Renaissance Society of America's Day of Digital Learning, in Toronto.
  • March 23, 2019: [Transcribathon] held at the the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, VA, organized by Julie Fisher.
  • April 11-12, 2019: Virtual Transcribathon in conjunction with EMPOP and the Harry Ransom Center.
  • April 27, 2019: Imbibe and Transcribe transcribathon at Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta, GA, organized by Joseph Aldinger, coupled with eyebright beer made from a recipe from a Folger manuscript.
  • July 12, 2019: Transcribathon in partnership with the [Oxford Food Symposium], St Catherine's College, Oxford.
  • September 12, 2019: Transcribathon at the McKay Archives Center, Florida Southern College, 4-10pm, organized by Catherine Eskin and sponsored by the History Club, Sigma Tau Delta, the Library, and the Department of English and Modern Languages.

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
Liza Blake's post on hosting a transcribathon for EMROC
Julie Fisher on why transcription matters