13 February 2015

Transcribing History

What will a liberated Richmond look like?
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The Library of Virginia hosts an online resource, Virginia Memory, which allows anyone to create an account, select a historic document and transcribe it's handwritten words into a typewritten document that is readable, searchable and available.

The Sacred Ground Project is participating in an African American group transcription experience. A small group of women and men, ranging in age from 17 to 65, selected documents from Virginia's Chancery Court - a kind of civil court from the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the official judiciary where people brought property and contract disputes. Black people often brought freedom suits to the Chancery Court, and were more often the objects of property dispute. Some cases involve land, others children. All are real cases, telling real stories, from the words of those who experienced them.

In the summer of 2015, the group involved in this project will be brought together for a public event at which they will share their feelings about the process of transcribing and learning about the cases of people who could represent the experiences of their own ancestors, people living within the Virginia's legal system, during slavery and after.

When the date is set for that event, we will post it here.

To learn more, please visit Virginia Memory, and click on Transcribe.


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