IDRH: Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon

Friday, February 12, 2021 10:45am to 1:00pm

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For Valentine’s Day 2021, the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities, together with the KU Department of English and the Project on the History of Black Writing, invite you to a birthday party for Frederick Douglass.


Although Douglass was born into bondage, and never knew his birthdate, he chose to celebrate every year on February 14th. Today we celebrate Douglass Day as a collective action for preserving Black history together.


Organized by the Colored Conventions Project, the Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon features a different crowdsourced transcription project each year with national and local events.


In 2021, we will transcribe the papers of Mary Church Terrell. She was a foundational Black activist, educator, thinker, and writer. Mary Church Terrell helped to create Douglass Day back in 1895. Soon after, she also helped found the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the NAACP.  We will transcribe the papers of Mary Church Terrell on By The People, the new crowdsourcing platform by our partners at the Library of Congress.

We will join the 2021 Douglass Day virtual event with a time for transcribing together over zoom. Birthday cake encouraged, or go the full mile and enter the Great Douglass Day Bake Off.


The full Douglass Day Timeline:


Welcome with the IDRH: 10:45am

Join the IDRH for a brief welcome and introduction by Laura Mielke


Live broadcast: 11 - 11:30am - Colored Conventions Project

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (lyrics)
  • Overview for the Douglass Day 2021 program
  • Speakers on Douglass and Terrell


Activity -- 11:30 - 12:30 - IDRH

  • Transcribe -- Return to a zoom meeting with folks at KU as we transcribe together


Live broadcast – 1:30 to 2:00pm - Colored Conventions Project

  • Sing “Happy birthday” (both versions)
  • Speakers on Terrell’s life and legacies
  • Highlights and recap from the day
  • Announce the first three Bake Off winners
  • Closing remarks & reflections




It is never too late to join! (unless, of course, the event is over). Send us an email and we will get you connected, even during the event. 

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