Douglass Day Transcribe-A-Thon preserves Black history

Posted on February 24, 2022

masked student sits at computer

masked student sits at computer

Every year on Valentine’s Day, volunteers from around the country work collectively to transcribe thousands of archival records documenting Black history. It’s a day known as Douglass Day, and it falls on February 14 to honor the chosen birthday of Frederick Douglass, the noted African American abolitionist and social reformer. The movement is organized by the Center for Black Digital Research at Penn State.

This year, more than 30 students and faculty from UNC Greensboro participated in this nationwide day of service, led by Dr. RJ Boutelle from the Department of English.

“By convening thousands of people to transcribe manuscripts and printed materials each February 14, participants are not only collaboratively preserving Black history, but making it accessible to new generations of scholars, students, and memory workers,” said Boutelle.

This year participants transcribed records of the colored conventions, a Black organizing movement that spanned the nineteenth century and laid the foundations for the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter.

View photos from UNCG’s Douglass Day Transcribe-A-Thon below.

Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Commmunications

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