Transcription Project

At the moment, we are working on migrating the previous transcription system to a new and improved one that will have a better public interface, make it easier to transcribe items, track progress, and facilitate our review of transcriptions. The new site is available at, although it is still heavily under construction. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. We will work to keep those involved with the project updated as migration progresses. If you have any questions, please contact

The transcription project of  "From Fights to Rights: The Long Road to a More Perfect Union" is a massive effort by volunteers to transcribe thousands of manuscripts such as diaries and letters from Special Collections and make them available online.  The transcriptions are an important part of making the documents accessible to the public. The project has begun with the transcription of material from the Civil War era and will continue with documents from the period of the Civil Rights Movement in the future.  


  • Staff and volunteers scan manuscripts from the Civil War era. 
  • Documents available online are selected by a volunteer to transcribe. 
  • Each volunteer creates the transcription by typing the text - mistakes and all - and instructions are provided by staff.
  • Special Collections staff and volunteers will check completed transcriptions as resources allow, but they will be available to the public in the meantime in the online collection.  

Read a summary of the diary of Asa John Wyatt, one of the first documents made available through the transcription project.

View transcription project guidelines.