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The Collation

A transcriba... what?

The typical first awkwardly formed question is, “A transcriba…what, wait, what is it, again?” (Answer: “Transcribathon, an event running from noon to midnight in which we transcribe and encode manuscripts, the very first experimental event of its kind for Early Modern Manuscripts Online.”) The next question following fast on its heels is usually, “Why would anyone want to do that for twelve hours?”

Well, over 35 transcribers, many of whom had never tried their hands or eyes at early modern paleography before, could tell you: because it’s fun! Part of that enjoyment no doubt comes from the satisfaction of puzzling out just what word a particularly strange-looking collection of letters could possibly be and another part arises from glimpsing into the thoughts of people living four hundred years ago.

Also, cake was involved.


[…] out the post about this event on the Folger’s blog, The Collation with additional images and information about the EMMO […]

Transcribathon!: Noon to Midnight Reading Old Handwriting and Making Digital Texts | Provenance Online Project — December 13, 2014


Fantastic! This reminded me of the 24-hour Shakespeare Read-a-thons that our Writers and Books clubs at Mercy High School held to raise money for a field trip to Stratford (Canada). I’d be interested in attending the next transcribathon if only to introduce people to the word and concept. How wonderful to work with such pieces of literature!

Judy A. Fuller — January 4, 2015


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