By the People is a Library of Congress project that I’ve written about and featured in my Teaching History With Technology courses since 2018. On By the People teachers and students can contribute to crowd-sourcing transcriptions of thousands of primary source documents. Some of the collections that I’ve featured over the years have been campaigns to transcribe collections of documents written by soldiers in the American Civil War, the journals of Walt Whitman, and letters written by James Garfield.
This week the Library of Congress announced some new features of the By the People website. The most significant of those features is an updated image viewer. The image viewer now includes filters that can be used to help people more closely analyze the details of primary source documents housed in By the People collections that still need to be transcribed. Some other new features include updated profile pages for registered contributors and easier identification of documents that still need to be transcribed.
Applications for Education
For years I’ve recommended using By the People as a means to get high school students to dive into primary sources to learn about the people and events featured in the collections while also learning about the importance of accurately transcribing primary sources. The LOC now has a page of resources for teachers who would like to have their students participate in transcribe-a-thon events that utilize the By the People collections.