Transcription: Inspiring Thoughts on a Difficult Task!

Some really creative sites have emerged using old letters and transcribing them to illuminate new ways to understand some famous figures of the past. One’s epistolary practices, the care taken in responding personally to messages from fans, and the tenderness revealed in some of the more private transmissions of thought in such letters are some of the great reasons why letters from the past should be studied. Letters of Note is one such site, hosting letters from a range of artists, writers, singers, intellectuals and public figures, as well as some humorous letters from ordinary people. My favorite is a letter from Harper Lee which gives fantastic life advice to a young fan who wrote to her.

This recent blog post about quality control standards and how different projects are dealing with this issue ( was an interesting one for me as I begin the volunteer transcription project.

Volunteers are working in special collections on key aspects of the M. Carey Thomas Collection including the Bryn Mawr College Summer School for Women Workers (which will be linked to an exhibit on the site this year), the relationship between the college and the Shipley School and M. Carey Thomas’ early family life, centering on the key period when she was injured in a fire at her family home.

Keep watching for details on the website progress, we are hoping to launch in June!

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