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Update: Lomax transcription review challenge

Five children cross a finish line in a running race while a crowd watches.

Crossing the finish line. Unknown photographer, early 1900s. LC-F8- 44219, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. 

At the start of this month we announced a “challenge” for the Lomax crowdsourcing campaign on the Library’s By the People platform. To refresh your memory, the campaign is focused on transcribing about 9000 pages of handwritten and typed Alan Lomax manuscripts. The ultimate goal is to create machine-readable electronic text versions of Lomax’s materials so that these are more readily searchable and accessible for users, including people with cognitive or visual impairments. In our challenge, we asked you to help celebrate the life and work of Alan Lomax by pushing the number of completed pages up to 3,000 by January 31st—or what would have been Alan’s 105th birthday. As of this morning, there are 2,204 completed pages. Can you help us get over the line by reviewing some of the transcribed pages?

Part of Lomax’s great success was his ability to collaborate with people all over the U.S., the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. He worked with local experts, religious leaders, musicians, and others to identify folk music and dance traditions to record. In addition to making sound recordings, Lomax and his collaborators–including his father, wife, daughter, and the ethnographer and author Zora Neale Hurston–wrote extensive notebooks and letters about the traditions they recorded and the people they encountered. Read more about his life and work right here on Folklife Today, the American Folklife Center’s blog!

There’s something for everyone in the Lomax Campaign–music, dance; different languages including Swedish, Spanish, and Haitian Creole; and different places and cultures, including Mississippi, Vermont and New Hampshire, the Bahamas, and St Simon’s Island, to name just a few.

Here are some pointers on how to review, and remember that any contribution to this effort helps us improve access and usability of these valuable collections!

4 Comments

  1. Andrea Kaufman,MD
    January 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Interesting. I would like to contribute my time. I can do English best.

  2. John Fenn
    January 15, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for reading, Andrea. Please follow the links in the post to the transcription campaign. We greatly appreciate any time you can put toward the effort!

  3. carlos barrera
    January 18, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Pueden abrir un acceso fàcil para colaborar permanentemente en transcribir documentos? gracias

  4. John Fenn
    January 30, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Gracis por la pregunta. El proyecto “By The People” es un proyecto piloto, y esperamos que se convertirá en un programa permanente que incorpora colleciones de todas divisiones de la Biblioteca del Congreso después de este periodo de prueba Beta.

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