Transcription Center

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Prior to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the thriving neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma (seen here in 1920), was nicknamed "Black Wall Street."

How the Public Helped Historians Better Understand What Happened at Tulsa

A century after the massacre of a prosperous Black community, Smithsonian volunteers transcribed nearly 500 pages of vital records in less than 24 hours

Anthropologist S. Ann Dunham (above, left) documented traditional crafts in Indonesia. Her field notes are now digitized and the Smithsonian is looking for digital transcribers.

Help Transcribe Field Notes Penned by S. Ann Dunham, a Pioneering Anthropologist and Barack Obama's Mother

Newly digitized, Dunham’s papers reflect her work as a scholar and as a scientist and as a woman doing anthropology in her own right

Follow the antics of the National Zoo's giant pandas (above: Tian Tian munching on bamboo) on the Panda Cams.

How to Virtually Explore the Smithsonian From Your Living Room

Tour a gallery of presidential portraits, print a 3-D model of a fossil or volunteer to transcribe historical documents

Frederick Douglass, ca. 1875

Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday Invites Remembrance and Reflection

This Douglass Day, celebrate an icon’s bicentennial while helping to transcribe the nation’s black history

Diller's gag lines were typed and meticulously filed into 48 drawers of a large, beige Steelmaster cabinet on wheels.

How Many Volunteers Does It Take to Transcribe Phyllis Diller's 53,000 Jokes?

Playing around in this massive joke file is like a crash course in brash humor

A page out of the diary of William H. Dall, one of the many documents being transcribed by the Smithsonian Transcription Center's small army of volunteers. At the ripe age of 21, Dall set off in 1865 to explore the Arctic on a Western Union Telegraph Expedition.

The Smithsonian Wants You! (To Help Transcribe Its Collections)

A massive digitization and transcription project calls for volunteers at the Smithsonian

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