8th (2nd for Lehigh) Annual Transcribe-a-thon Honors Frederick Douglass on February 14, 2024

Profile image of Frederick Douglass's right side in sepia on a light burgundy background

Douglass Day is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14th, the chosen birthday of Frederick Douglass. As Douglass never knew his actual birthdate, his family chose Valentine’s Day to commemorate his life. The holiday was established after Douglass’ passing in 1895, when influential activist Mary Church Terrell proposed a national holiday to honor his legacy. Douglass Day events were widespread in the early 20th century and served as inspiration for the creation of Black History Month. In 2017, a group at the University of Delaware revived the holiday as an annual event to preserve Black history through collective actions, such as creating new resources for teaching and learning about Black history. All are welcome to participate and learn more about the history of Douglass Day, both distant and recent, by visiting https://douglassday.org/history-of-douglass-day. Between 2017 and the present, Douglass Day has involved 30,000+ people in 665 locations around the world.

Douglass Day is proud to announce a transcribe-a-thon in honor of the birthday of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895). This year’s transcribathon will be the 8th annual transcribathon to celebrate Frederick Douglass’s birthday and the 2nd one hosted by Lehigh Libraries.

The transcribe-a-thon will bring together thousands of participants at more than one hundred simultaneous events around the world. Students, teachers, and community members will help to transcribe an unprecedented collection of digitized papers left by Frederick Douglass. These papers have been digitized and made available through collaborations with the Library of Congress and the ByThePeople platform.

The Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon will be held on February 14, 2024 from 12-3 PM (Eastern) and will be streamed live on YouTube. The transcribing will be done on Crowd.loc.gov, a citizen science platform led by the the Library of Congress. Douglass Day invites people from all backgrounds to join in this effort to make Douglass’s correspondence more widely accessible and searchable.

Lehigh’s participation in Douglass Day will be held in Linderman Library Room 302. Please feel free to bring your own laptop. As part of the event, we will teach you how to transcribe. We will be serving birthday cake, singing happy birthday to Frederick Douglass, and participating in all the activities that will be streamed live on YouTube.

Register here: https://forms.gle/mdGn8V66Qv3hpuJD8

Primary Contact: Heather Simoneau