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Folger Shakespeare Library Transcribathon returns to Cabell Library Friday, April 7

April 5, 2017

Just in time for Shakespeare's birthday, the Folger Shakespeare Library's Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project returns to VCU Libraries Friday, April 7, from noon to 4 p.m. in the James Branch Cabell Library Lecture Hall.

It is VCU's second Transcribathon. "A transcriba...what?" you may ask. At the transcribathon, people transcribe and encode handwritten early modern documents. Although all of the documents have been scanned in their original condition and are available in digital form, they have not been previously transcribed. Those who are familiar with handwriting from the period know that deciphering such documents is not always easy. The purpose of the event is to help the Folger Shakespeare Library make clean transcriptions of its documents so that the documents are more readable and more usable for researchers and students around the globe.

"The transcribathon gives everyone at and around VCU the opportunity to develop two skills," Professor Joshua Eckhardt (VCU English) explains: "The ability to read some of the Folger Shakespeare Library's invaluable manuscripts; and to mark up texts of those manuscripts according to the conventions of the Textual Coding Initiative. The event therefore combines some of the oldest and newest communication technologies, using digital means to expand access to handwritten documents. And we can now see the eventual goal of our collective work at the beta site for the Folger project."

The event is free and open to all. No registration is required. No prior experience with paleography (the study of historical handwriting) is required. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees are free to come and go as it fits their schedules. Bring your laptop, or use one of ours. And feel free to bring your lunch. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Questions about the event? Cotact Dr. Joshua Eckhardt.

Practice your paleography skills before the event using this archive of instructional resources, manuscript images, and accurate transcriptions from recent "Practical Paleography" EMMO sessions at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

This event is presented by the Folger Shakespeare LibraryVCU Libraries and the VCU Department of English in collaboration with the VCU Humanities Research Center.

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