We are excited to announce the launch of Corresponding with Quakers, a collaborative transcription project on the Zooniverse platform. We need your help transcribing thousands of pages of 18th- and 19th-century Irish Quaker correspondence and journals!
The Ballitore Project is an investigation into the papers of the Shackleton, Leadbeater, and Barrington families, held at UCSB Library's Special Research Collections. Dating from the period when Quakers were central to issues of abolitionism and women's rights, these documents can offer new insight into British, Irish, and American political history.
The project is a collaboration between UCSB, Cal State-Northridge, and Howard University that brings together teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty to investigate the Ballitore Collection. We combine archival research with computational methodologies to read the materials in new ways. In order for our work to be successful, we need to create plain-text transcriptions and metadata for each document.
Corresponding with Quakers is our transcription site using the Zooniverse platform. The site will ask you to complete two tasks: transcribe a document (usually a 2- to 4-page letter) and then choose some keywords to describe the document. The letters offer fascinating views into daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as new knowledge about the era's key political debates. The project can be easily incorporated into undergraduate classes on book history, archives, literary history, and more.
For more information on the project, please visit our website and/or Twitter feed. And please get in touch with any questions!
Rachael Scarborough King
Associate Professor of English, UCSB