The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow

The Beacon

Fifth Annual Douglass Day Transcribe-a-Thon

On Thursday Feb. 15, students and faculty participated in the Fifth Annual Douglass Day Transcribe-a-Thon. This event takes place yearly on the birthday of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, in order to celebrate his life and Black History Month.

The goal of the event is also to aid in making historical documents more accessible by transcribing difficult to read handwritten documents.

The event focuses specifically on documents from Frederick Douglass and his associates during the nineteenth century.

Students and faculty went online to a collection of documents from the Library of Congress that needed to be transcribed and got to work. Transcribing the documents is not always an easy task for both beginners and experienced transcribers.

Starr Sandt, junior psychology and sports management major, shared her experience with the event.

“This is my second year, and it is definitely a challenge every year, but once you get the hang of it, it does get a bit easier,” said Sandt. “It is really interesting and I really enjoy doing it.”

While Sandt had prior experience, other students shared that this was totally new and different for them. The documents included correspondences to and from Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, James G. Blaine and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Aiden Hermon, first year pharmacy major, shared that the difficulty was in the way documents were written.

“I cannot read cursive very well, so it’s been a little difficult,” said Hermon.

These documents highlight factors of abolition and offer insight into an important aspect of American history. Students and faculty’s work across the country aid in keeping this history alive through these important documents.

Another student, Kamea Paresa, sophomore math major, said, “I have never transcribed before, and I came because I wanted to try something new.”

“I’m reading a letter from Frederick Douglass’ wife, and she was saying that she’s not really in a letter writing mood, but wanted to write to her niece saying she hopes she stays in school,” said Paresa.

Paresa mentioned that it is a rather difficult task, but that it is also a rewarding one.

The documents can be found on the Library of Congress’s website under “Yours truly, Frederick Douglass.”