In the more than three years since launching our multi-year effort to digitize and publish many previously unreleased historical legal reports in our collection, the Law Library has nearly completed the legacy publishing phase of this project. This project has resulted in more than 4,000 historical and contemporary reports released online on Loc.gov, many hundreds of which were digitized from thin, carbon copies and were unavailable in any other printed format. Some of these reports had never been seen by the public, and they provide a fascinating look at the history of U.S. and foreign law and policy, particularly from the Cold War era.
Now, we would like to share another opportunity for users to discover and engage with many of these historical reports that were recently released. Yesterday, on the Library’s crowdsourcing platform By The People, the Law Library released nearly 400 additional digitized historical reports published in the last couple of years that would greatly benefit from volunteer transcriptions in order to improve discovery and access for all users. In April 2021, we launched the Law Library’s second crowdsourcing campaign entitled Historical Legal Reports from the Law Library of Congress. Thanks to the help of hundreds of online volunteers, this campaign was successfully concluded in July 2021, and the completed transcriptions have now been fully integrated into the Library’s permanent collection (see example here).
Just like our previous batch of transcribed reports, many of these new additions represent the only known remaining versions of the reports. Although they are still quite legible, the poor print quality makes their digitized characters difficult for optical character recognition. That is why we are asking you to help us to provide accurate transcriptions of these original documents and ensure full-text searchability for this new collection. Anyone can take part and no account is needed to transcribe, although you will need to register for a free account in order to review others’ transcriptions. To view only the newly added reports that are in need of transcription, filter your page by “Not Started.”
Visit crowd.loc.gov to explore the updates to this historic collection and try your hand at transcribing a report!
Subscribe to In Custodia Legis – it’s free! – to receive interesting posts drawn from the Law Library of Congress’s vast collections and our staff’s expertise in U.S., foreign, and international law.