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Welcome to The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Digital Volunteer Transcription Project.

You may start transcribing documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection by selecting one of the projects below.

If you have not yet signed up but would like to become a Gilder Lehrman Digital Volunteer and transcribe documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, please select a project from the list below and create a free account by selecting the "Create Account" option in the top menu bar and completing the form.

These typed transcripts will help make primary sources more accessible for students, teachers, and researchers. This volunteer opportunity is available to students who are at least thirteen years old.

To find out more about the Gilder Lehrman Collection projects, visit us on our project homepage at



Browse Transcription Projects

  • Black Lives in the Founding Era:

    This selection of documents sheds light on what life was like for some Black Americans in the eighteenth century. Taken from more than 200 books, magazines, and newspapers, these texts—which are largely about enslaved people and the institution of slavery—provide insight into the experiences of some Black Americans during the founding era.

    This transcription opportunity is part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Black Lives in the Founding Era project, which restores to view the lives and works of a wide array of African Americans in the period 1760 to 1800. We encourage you to read more about the project here.

    Content warning: The language and content of these materials may be difficult for some readers. Many of these documents pertain to the institution of slavery and racism in the eighteenth century and demonstrate the often harsh circumstances that Black men, women, and children faced. Students should be advised that while some of these materials may be upsetting, topics such as enslavement and racial violence are essential to the study of US history.
  • Civil War Letters:

    A selection of Civil War Era letters. These letters detail the lives and events during the Civil War from both the Union and Confederate perspectives.
  • Founding Era Newspapers
    These newspapers are important sources of unique information about the Founding Era that we cannot find elsewhere. You can explore the “breaking news” of the American Revolution through contemporary newspapers. In addition to the political and military news of the day, these periodicals also published a wealth of other newsworthy items and advertisements that impacted the lives of Americans in the Founding Era. Transcribing these documents not only makes them more accessible, but it is also a great way to learn history from the people who experienced it.

  • Sylvia Weiner's Letters from the World War II Brooklyn Homefront:
    Sylvia’s letters offer a unique perspective of life on the home front during World War II. Sylvia describes her days in Brooklyn focusing on her job and her nights at home with various friends and family members. At the same time, she discusses financial difficulties and the struggle for gasoline and certain food products
  • Thomas Rogers Booth Diaries
    A collection of Diaries written by Thomas Rogers booth starting in 1861 until 1889. Booth was a railroad engineer from New Castle, Delaware.  Some entries mention his travel however, these diaries have not been read so the content is largely a mystery waiting for transcribers.  
  • Women in the Founding Era: The Papers of Catherine Graham Macaulay

    Macaulay was a popular British author of historical studies and radical pamphlets. She is recognized as the first Englishwoman to become a historian. Her letters to family and friends reveal her political thoughts and her support of liberty and American independence.
  • World War I Keystone Stereocards

    A collection of 297 stereocards that detail battles and life in World War I Europe. A stereocard is a set of two almost identical photos that use an optical illusion to look 3d when viewed through specialized lenses. These stereocards also contain a description of what is happening in the image, intending to be used for educational purposes.
  • World War II letters of Sergeant Warren Schwartz, 9th Infantry Division, United States Army

    Warren Harold Schwartz primarily wrote to Naomi Horowitz, his girlfriend at the time whom he would marry. Schwartz served in the U.S. Army as a Technician Fifth Grade for the 925th Field Artillery Battalion, 100th Infantry Division. He writes about basic training, his tour of duty in North Carolina, Morocco, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, France and England. He describes daily life, finding solace with the local Jewish community in North Carolina, and comments on various generals.