This page is from past events.
Please return to the home page for current info.

Transcription Resources & Guides

Go to the project on Zooniverse

Zooniverse Step-by-Step Written Tutorials

Zooniverse Video Tutorials

These videos will explain everything you need to participate in Transcribe Colored Conventions.

Frequently Asked Questions

A large collection of digitized records from the Colored Conventions Project (~2200 pages) will be posted to our project on a website called Zooniverse on the morning of February 14th. We regret that this release timing is unable to be changed, though events at any time on the 14th or after will have access to all of the materials.

A transcribe-a-thon is an event in which people gather in person or online to work simultaneously on a crowdsourcing project. We share cool finds and more on social media, connecting across all of our locations.

Our main activity will be transcribing the words on a platform created by the Adler Planetarium called Zooniverse. We’ll help transcribe all sorts of documents from the Colored Conventions, a long-running civil rights movement during the 1800s. No experience is needed. The platform is very beginner friendly!

Anyone with an internet connection and a computer/laptop is more than welcome to join! No prior experience is needed. We will be posting tutorial videos during the week before Feb 14th. Our online platform is free to use, and will also provide lots of instructions how to sign up, get started, and find help. We’ll even have a “Talk” message board to share finds, ask questions, or troubleshooting. You can post questions on the forum to get help from our experts. Our librarian & historian experts are standing by & eager to make the process fun & engaging for all!

Accounts are not required—but they are highly recommended. If you spend 30 seconds to create an account, you’ll have access to a variety of resources. You can post questions to our Talk message board. You can save your favorites and even create special collections of materials you want to retrieve later.

We suggest one laptop per 1-3 people. Transcribing in small teams of 2-3 people can be a lot of fun! Or, people can take turns transcribing. Unfortunately, our project does not work well on mobile phones or small tablets.

Browse our Organizing Kit or our teaching pages

If you would like to try a different page, simply refresh the page in your web browser. The Zooniverse site will take you to a new page.

We encourage you to give each page a chance. The text can seem difficult to read at first. If you skim the whole page, you can start to recognize more and more parts and then you’re ready to start transcribing.

If none of these strategies help, you are welcome to visit our Help Page.

After Douglass Day, we will begin the process of publishing the results freely and openly on the website of the Colored Conventions Project (