Have some time on your hands? Know how to read? Want to help science?
Join me at the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Transcription Center!
There are thousands of collection items, field journals, and cataloged diaries and specimens at the Smithsonian, and because the pages and data are hand-written or irregular, digital transcription is unable to decode them.
This is where the Digital Volunteers come in! By transcribing and double-checking the transcription efforts of others prior to final review by Smithsonian staffers, we save the Smithsonian thousands of hours of initial squinting and trying to make sense of semi-illegible words.
Cursive is largely not taught in schools anymore, but the scientific value of these documents and specimens will still be true long after we’re gone. By transcribing things now and getting them into a digital database that can be searched and organized, scientists and historians of both tomorrow and decades in the future will benefit.
There are more difficult transcription pieces (such as the top page posted here), as well as very simple and easy-to-read pieces, such as The Bumblebee Project (SO MANY BEES).
This is where I procrastinate, these days. It’s strangely addicting.