Crowdsourcing Project to Uncover USA Historical Treasures

October 31, 2018 By IdeaConnection

Library of CongressThe Library of Congress, the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States is opening up its treasure chest of historical archives and is seeking the public's help. 

It has launched a huge crowdsourcing initiative asking people to transcribe and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from the Library’s collections.

Volunteers can work on a range of fascinating projects such as: Civil War reminiscences by soldiers and sailors, public and personal papers of Marcy Church Terrell who was a women's rights advocate and a civil rights activist, and documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln.  

There are 40,550 Lincoln papers and the goal is to transcribe 28,0000 by December 31st.  They are grouped into three sections:

  • 1830-1839: First forays in politics and law
  • 1840-1849: Marriage, family, politics, and law
  • 1850-1857: death and birth of children, and re-entry to politics image


“Crowdsourcing demonstrates the passion of volunteers for history, learning and the power of technology to make those things more accessible,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The pages awaiting transcription at represent some of the diversity of the Library’s treasure.”

Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can take part and you are free to choose the projects you want to work on.

The transcripts that volunteers compile will be made available on the Library's website, www. and will be keyword searchable. 

This exciting crowdsourcing project will make first-hand accounts in history much more accessible to those with an interest in the past.

For more information and to register to take part go to



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