Douglass Day 2018 at AAS

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass, the Colored Conventions Project, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Transcription Center are gathering communities across the US and abroad to transcribe the Freedmen’s Bureau Records. In collaboration with MassHumanities, AAS will be hosting a gathering in Worcester to join this effort.

When: Wednesday, February 14, 12-3PM. Participants are welcome to stay for any or all of this time.

Where: AAS’s Goddard-Daniels House, 190 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609. Please find directions and parking here.

What to Bring: A laptop or tablet to access the Internet and to type on. AAS will provide a few laptops, but we do not have many to spare, so please bring your own (or borrow a friend’s) if you can. You must bring an appetite for birthday cake, however!

What we will do: Transcribe pages from the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Freedmen’s Bureau Records. Please learn more about the Records and this project here.

Learning to transcribe: No prior experience is required. After a brief welcome on the live stream (see below), we will be instructed on how to transcribe from the Smithsonian's Transcription Center. If you will not be here for the instructions, or if you would like to prepare ahead of time, please visit:

AAS’s Molly Hardy will also be on hand to offer instructions and to help anyone having trouble. Please be in touch with Molly if you have any questions (

We will be live streaming the following public program


Start Time Step People
12:00 Welcome to the Transcribe-a-thon! Denise Burgher, Anna Lacy, & Allison Robinson
  Blessing & “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Rev. Deacon Cecily Sawyer Harmon
12:05 The Colored Conventions Movement, in the 19th and 21st centuries, and the Freedmen’s Bureau P. Gabrielle Foreman & Kamilah Stinnett
  Shout outs from around Douglass Day
History of Douglass Day
Locations to be determined.
Jim Casey
12:20 How to transcribe the Freedmen’s Bureau Andres Almeida and Doug Remley
12:30 Time for transcribing Everyone
1:15 A reading from an 1876 speech by Douglass Don Blakey
1:30 Time for transcribing Everyone
2:15 History of the Freedmen’s Bureau Hollis Gentry
2:25 Sing “Happy Birthday” and cut the cake Everyone
2:30 Draft your resolutions and share them on social media. Don’t forget to send @ CCP! Everyone
2:40 Closing discussion, including highlights from transcribing and comments about what the conventions mean to us today. Everyone
3:00 Live stream ends

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