The NULab, in partnership with the Women Writers Project, Open Access at Snell, and the Digital Scholarship Group will participate in a massive, international online transcribe-a-thon, Wednesday, February 14th, 2018. The working celebration will mark the 200th birthday of self-emancipated African American activist, Frederick Douglass. This effort has been organized by the Colored Convention Project and benefits the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Transcription Center toward their goal to transcribe 19th-century records from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. We will join more than 60 host groups and 1400 individuals helping to digitally preserve the documents from this crucial humanitarian program. Participants will learn how Douglass, one of the most powerful proponents of the Colored Conventions Movement, also contributed to the Bureau’s work attending to the well-being of formerly enslaved Blacks left destitute after the American Civil War.

Who: college and university students, public library users, student groups, librarians, archivists, scholars, teachers, activists, and other volunteers from across the United States, and as far away as England, Ireland and Spain.

What: An online and transnational celebration of Frederick Douglass’ 200 birthday through a transcribe-a-thon of the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers (1865–1872).

When: Wednesday, February. 14th, 2018 – from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM ( EST / UTC-5)

Where: Digital Scholarship Commons, Snell Library, Northeastern University ( See map at for a visual of all participating locales. And live-streamed online at

Why: In honor of Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday, his urgent work with the post-U.S. Civil War Freedmen’s Bureau (formally, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands) and the Colored Conventions Movement (1830 thru the 1890s)

How: Visit the locations where the simultaneous transcriptions are taking place, and follow the action online.

For more information and for media interviews, contact:

NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks

Dr. Sarah Connell – / 617-373-3219

Colored Conventions Project

Dr. Gabrielle Foreman  –

Dr. Jim Casey  –   /   408-892-7830

National Museum of African American History and Culture