For Educators

Visit For Educators to find ideas and support for engaging students of all ages with primary sources through By the People.

Host a transcribe-a-thon or review-a-thon event

Thinking of hosting a transcribe-a-thon or other By the People event? We’ve created a how-to guide, instruction handout, and introductory slides to make planning and leading an event easy.

Transcription help

The majority of handwritten documents in By the People were penned between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Spencerian Script (Approx. 1850-1925) is a script style considered the American standard writing style prior to the widespread adoption of the typewriter.

If you are new to historical transcription you may run into unfamiliar spellings and abbreviations common for this style of script. The resources provided below demonstrate many of these and how to transcribe them correctly.

Spanish and Latin resources

Service documentation

You may be able to fulfill community service or service learning requirements by participating on By the People. Keep track of your contributions to the project by registering for an account. We can additionally provide an electronic letter on Library of Congress letterhead confirming that you have taken part in By the People. This letter can confirm if you are a registered user as well as information provided in your user profile. Note that we cannot track the amount of time you spend volunteering. It is best for you to document your hours. Email [email protected] to request a letter.