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Folger Shakespeare Library Transcribathon to be held Nov. 9

October 25, 2018

VCU hosts its third transcribathon Nov. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Cabell Library Lecture Hall (Room 303).

Created by the Folger Shakespeare Library's Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project, the transcribathon is an event at which attendees 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 transcribed. Handwriting from the period is difficult to decipher. These communal events help the Folger Shakespeare Library make clean transcriptions of its documents so that they are more readable and more usable for researchers and students.

At the November event, the VCU Libraries' team will reach a milestone. For the past few years, VCU students have been producing a digital transcript of a handwritten book of 315 pages containing 528 poems (Folger MS V.a.345). Some of this work has been at two previous transcribathons.

Much work has been done in weekly meetings of the Superscripts, an official student organization that helps organize the transcribathons. Long known only to archival researchers, this manuscript contains a high proportion of unique poems, available in no other source. It also contains copies of works by well-known writers including William Shakespeare and John Donne. The Folger Shakespeare Library will eventually be able to publish the transcripts made by VCU's transcription community, along with images of the manuscript, on EMMO. This manuscript will likely be the first poetry collection that the Folger publishes on EMMO.

At the event, there will be brief remarks at 2 p.m.

The event is free and open to all. No registration is required. No prior experience with paleography (the study of historical handwriting) is required. Attendees are free to come and go or stay during the session. 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 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, the Superscripts and the VCU Department of English.

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