Guide to Hosting Virtual Transcribe-a-thons

Create a videoconference meeting and invite people to join

Set up a Zoom, Webex, Teams, or other videoconference service to host a meeting during the event. Please see our outreach guide for suggestions about how to invite people and how to promote your event among your communities.

Watch the live broadcast on YouTube

Following past years, we are going to have a live broadcast program on February 14 (12-3pm EST). We are going to feature a great lineup of speakers and offer a helpful tutorial on transcribing on Zooniverse. The live broadcast will appear on YouTube.

Local organizers share your screen in a local Zoom/Webex videoconference room

  1. Organize a Zoom/Webex zoom (or use other videoconference software)
  2. Share the room link or invitation with everyone who will attend your event
  3. Watch the live program in your browser
  4. Share your screen with your Zoom/Webex
  5. Stop sharing your screen during transcribing time

Alternating between watching the live program and time for transcribing.

We will run the live program for about 30 minutes at a time, alternating with time for transcribing. (We also recommend splitting people into breakout rooms to have space to chat while we transcribe together in virtual community.)

Comments? Questions? Not sure about the process? Please don’t hesitate to contact us at And remember that we are offering a live demo on February 7th.

Creating community in a time of social distancing

Mostly, we’re going to hold on to many of the classic Douglass Day activities in virtual settings. We’ll transcribe in groups. We’ll sing together. We’ll share our cool finds on social media. We’ll have stickers & lots of fun swag. Let’s see if we can’t find new ways to build some community around a virtual event during this difficult this year. Please join us!

Enter the Douglass Day Bake Off

Don’t forget to encourage people in your group to create and decorate desserts to celebrate the birthday of Frederick Douglass! Enter the contest for special prizes by posting photos on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #GreatDouglassDayBakeoff.

Questions, suggestions, or feedback?