Many of our digitized field books are sent to the Smithsonian Transcription Center to help make the text more accessible to a wider audience. We’ve been thrilled with the response, and the excitement and dedication of Smithsonian’s Transcription Center volunpeers! Transcribers do more than convert handwritten text to machine-readable, searchable text. In fact, one of the most satisfying alternate aspects of their work has been the way in which they have increased communication about the field book materials within and between Smithsonian Staff and other volunpeers. The Transcription Center is not only making the field book content increasingly searchable, but also opening fascinating dialogues with new audiences!
We’d like to share just a few examples from the conversations we’ve been following through the transcription and review of William Healey Dall’s Diary 1865-1867 during his work in Alaska. Curious to have a look yourself? Check out the field book PDF now available through at: https://transcription.si.edu/project/6828