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Spread of Branch Rickey papers

Welcome to By the People

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By the People is an online transcription platform where anyone with an internet connection can transcribe documents from Library of Congress digitized collections. Everyone is welcome to contribute!

This crowdsourcing project invites members of the public, non-specialists and specialists alike, to help make data more usable and discoverable. Crowdsourcing at the Library of Congress invites volunteers to explore collections while gaining new skills, for example, learning to read older forms of handwriting such as cursive.

Learn how to get started in our Welcome Guide and then jump in!

Anyone who wants to help the Library make its collections more discoverable online. Anyone who is interested in history, cultural heritage, literature, languages, art, sciences, and much more. Anyone who wants to be a virtual volunteer, exploring collections and transcribing at their own pace and at times that are convenient for them. Students and learners of all ages who want to help the Library and learn new skills.
You collaborate with other volunteers to transcribe and review collections. At least one person transcribes and a different person reviews each transcription. If you are reviewing and find that a transcription needs a few corrections, you can edit that page. Another person will then need to review your new edits. Sometimes more than one person will contribute to transcribe an image. You can start a page and save your progress for another person to complete and submit. You may also come across images with a transcription that needs more work that you can add to and submit. We think of this negotiated editing process as a way to get the best version of a transcription and help solve different challenges for each image.
Materials in crowd.loc.gov represent the diversity of the Library’s collections and are selected from across the Library of Congress’s curatorial divisions. You’ll encounter presidential papers; the personal archives of leaders of the women's suffrage, abolition and other movements; the work of American poets, such as Walt Whitman, and much more. We will add new content regularly: sign up for our newsletter to hear about new Campaigns and Challenges.
Check the How to transcribe, review, and tag instruction pages linked at the top of this page. Our goal is to make transcriptions that are readable to computers and humans, with minimal markup, not attempting to recreate the layout of the original images. Quick tips are available within the transcription interface.
Registering for an account is optional, but gives you access to the reviewing and taggin features of By the People, as well as a profile page. Register here to make an account. Create a username, which will be visible to other volunteers and users of the site. Enter your email address in the “Email” field (this will not be visible to or shared with other users) and create a unique password. You can also register for a separate account to participate in our community of practice on the History Hub discussion forum. Share the material you are transcribing or your experience of encountering primary sources. Feel free to raise questions or concerns, especially if you think other volunteers might be able to respond or benefit from your post. History Hub is a moderated forum. The Community Managers will check in regularly to approve comments and engage in discussion, and will try to answer questions about the project or the collections within 3-5 business days. Reference Librarians and curators will also answer some questions.
If you've forgotten your password click Login, then "Forgot my password". You will receive an email with a link asking you to reset your password. You may also change your password within your profile.
Your email address gives us the ability to support you. Community managers are here to help with account administration like changes to your profile, troubleshooting any issues with contributing to a transcription, and answering general questions. We will never share your information with other institutions or individuals. At registration you can opt in to receive email updates on crowd.loc.gov campaigns and features – you can also register for our newsletter here.
The data contributed by volunteers like you can be used in many different ways. The transcriptions produced on crowd.loc.gov will typically be published in the Library catalog on loc.gov within a year of a Campaign's completion. We are giving back to our community by making this data public. All contributions to this application are released into the public domain. Anyone is free to use or reuse this data set in any way they want. Data from completed campaigns will also be made available as a bulk download. If you need help accessing the data or want to share news of your research with the crowd.loc.gov community, please contact the Community Managers at [email protected].
Tagging is an experimental feature. Tags can be used to identify people, places or things in documents that are not already identified in the page or asset’s metadata on loc.gov. We want to understand how volunteers like to use tags. We also want to understand whether tags can someday be included in the metadata on the Library catalog to make items discoverable through search terms that are not represented in the existing metadata or the transcriptions we will produce on crowd.loc.gov.
The language and terminology used in the historical materials on this site reflect the context and culture of their creators, and may include words, phrases, and attitudes that would now be deemed insensitive, inappropriate or factually inaccurate, or may not be appropriate for all ages. Views expressed in historical documents do not reflect the views of the Library of Congress. Because the purpose of crowd.loc.gov is to make the Library’s collections searchable, we ask that all original content be transcribed as it appears in the original material. If you find some material offensive or upsetting, please choose something else to transcribe. If you have questions or comments regarding the material you encounter during your participation here, please contact a Community Manager via [email protected] or join or start a new conversation on the History Hub discussion forum.
Because By the People invites you to transcribe documents, it is best experienced on a device with a large or full sized keyboard and larger screen. A desktop computer or laptop is best; a tablet with keyboard should work. Unfortunately, phones are not yet supported. We recommend an external mouse for most precise zoom. We support the two most recent versions of major browsers. You’ll have the best experience if you use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. The site will not work as designed on the Internet Explorer browser.
By the People runs on Concordia, new open source software developed by the Library of Congress to power crowdsourced transcription projects. The code is visible and free to reuse: Visit our Github repository for more information. The platform was built utilizing user-centered design principles based around building trust and approachability. This project is a partnership between the Library and a growing community of volunteers who help us to iteratively improve the platform. Everyone is welcome to take part in transcription and tagging and to give feedback about how we can improve the code base and the project itself. Be in touch!

A detailed explanation of the Library’s Privacy Policy including what kinds of data we collect and store, and what we use to track your session while you are on a Library website is available at this link, and in the footer of this page under the “Legal” link button.

You do not have to register an account on crowd.loc.gov in order to transcribe, but you can register if you would like to review or tag. In order to make sure a transcription is submitted by a real human, anonymous users will be prompted to fill in a captcha before their first submission will be accepted. The Library’s captcha is an image of a few letters and numbers that you need to transcribe into the box below the image.

A session cookie will be used in your browser while you are transcribing so that you do not need to enter a captcha every time you work on a page. Session cookies for anonymous users are limited to 24 hours, so you will only be prompted to enter a captcha once a session.

Session cookies are used for registered users too, so that your contributions can be saved to your account. Check out your user profile to see how many pages you have transcribed, tagged and reviewed. Registered user session cookies last two weeks.

The Library of Congress has long invested in building digitized collections and making them searchable. The Library’s first attempt recruiting members of the public to increase findability on our website began in 2008 when the Photography and Prints Division published thousands of photographs on Flickr Commons. This long-running project invites visitors to help identify people and places in the photographs and, once verified, this rich information is used to enhance the online catalog and improve access for all users. Two additional crowdsourcing efforts within the Library include Fix It and Beyond Words, projects that invite you to review transcription of public television programs and identify cartoons and photographs in the Library's historic newspaper collections, respectively.
Staffing of Concordia and By the People is supported in part by the National Digital Library Trust Fund. They are the also result of collaboration between numerous divisions, expertise, and teams at the Library of Congress.

Image titles not linked are not available on loc.gov. Contact the Library of Congress custodial unit listed for information about access and use via Ask A Librarian

Anna E. Dickinson Papers
"Anna E. Dickinson". [Between 1855 and 1865]. Brady-Handy photograph collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Branch Rickey: Changing the Game
"Father of baseball farm system, Rickey checks his 18 minor-league teams on office blackboard with Branch Jr., farm boss". Rhodenbaugh, Harold, photographer. 1946. LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Carrie Chapman Catt Papers
"Catt, Carrie Chapman". Carrie Chapman Catt Papers: Miscellany; Photographs, Image 128. - 1920, 1890. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Civil War
"Battle of Port Hudson". J.O. Davidson; Facsimile print by L. Prang & Co. Boston. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Civil War Soldiers: "Disabled but not disheartened"
"Wm. Oland Bourne Papers: Left-hand Penmanship contest; Soldier and sailor contributions; Series I $1,000 in prizes, awarded in; Entries 221-230, Image 43". 1866. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Clara Barton: "Angel of the Battlefield"
"Clara Barton - from portrait taken in Civil War and authorized by her as the one she wished to be remembered by". [between ca. 1890 and 1910]. LOT 8532. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers
"Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her daughter, Harriot--from a daguerreotype". [Between 1890 and 1910 of daguerreotype taken 1856]. Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1979:169. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Letters to Lincoln
"Abraham Lincoln papers: Series 2. General Correspondence. -1864: Unknown to Abraham Lincoln, 1860 Envelope; endorsed by Lincoln". 1860. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for African Americans and Women
"Mary Church Terrell, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front". [Between 1880 and 1900, printed later]. BIOG FILE - Terrell, Mary Church. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote
"Suffragists demonstrating against Woodrow Wilson in Chicago. National Woman's Party Records, Group II, Container II: 276, Folder: Group Photographs Nos. 45-58". Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Susan B. Anthony Papers
"Elizabeth Cady Stanton, seated, and Susan B. Anthony, standing, three-quarter length portrait". [Between 1880 and 1902]. BIOG FILE - Anthony, Susan Brownell. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Man Who Recorded the World: On the Road with Alan Lomax
"Alan Lomax and Raphael Hurtault listening to playback. La Plaine, Dominica". June 1962. Alan Lomax collection (AFC 2004/004), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

"This Hell-upon-earth of a Prison": Samuel J. Gibson's Andersonville Diary
"Andersonville Prison, Ga. South east view of stockade". [Photographed 1864, printed between 1880 and 1889]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Walt Whitman at 200
"Walt Whitman". Cox, G. C., photographer. 1887. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

In addition to the Library of Congress’ own history of varied participatory projects, other cultural heritage institutions with established transcription programs have paved the way for crowd.loc.gov. Projects at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian, the New York Public Library, Zooniverse.org, From the Page, and others have developed workflows and user engagement strategies that this platform leverages and builds upon. Concordia deploys a different architecture to these existing models of crowdsourced transcription, and aims to provide simple data structures and easier project implementation for cultural heritage institutions and other people who want to set up their own crowdsourced transcription projects.