Help Transcribe the Freedmen's Bureau Papers for the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Join fellow members of the Harvard Club as we help transcribe historical documents in partnership with the Smithsonian. No experience is necessary. This is an ongoing project with flexible scheduling and can be completed in your free time. We will have an introductory Zoom meeting on Saturday, September 26th at 10am to provide additional details.
While we will focus on the Freedmen's Bureau Records in collaboration with NMAAHC, volunteers will have the opportunity to explore additional projects. Volunteers will be given additional support throughout the transcription process.
More Information about the Freedmen's Bureau Records (From Smithsonian)
The United States Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by Congress in 1865 to assist in the political and social reconstruction of post-war Southern states and to help formerly enslaved people make the transition from slavery to freedom and citizenship. By most accounts, the Bureau was only partially successful as Congress did not provide sufficient funds or staff for the Bureau to be truly effective. It generally failed to protect the freedmen or their political and civil rights from white Southerners intent on re-establishing their local power. In an effort to enhance the accessibility of these important materials, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives and Records Administration (where the original records of the Freedmen's Bureau are held), FamilySearch International, and the Smithsonian's Transcription Center, have teamed up to transcribe more than 1.5 million pages from the Freedmen's Bureau records (the largest crowdsourcing project ever undertaken by the Smithsonian). Completed transcriptions will allow genealogists, historians, and researchers around the world more easily search for and locate information recorded on Freedmen's Bureau pages related to African American history and the post-Civil War era. Click Here to learn more about the Freedmen's Bureau and this important collaborative project. Please click the button below to start the registration process. Once you register, you will be contacted with additional instructions.