Interested in learning more about the Foundling Hospital? Have some time to spare? Join us for Transcription Tuesday.

We’ve been chosen by family history magazine Who Do You Think You Are? as one of the projects for its popular annual Transcription Tuesday event, taking place on 2 February.

We’re looking for volunteers to get involved on the day, to help with transcribing records from our archive. Our archive dates back to when we were established as the Foundling Hospital in 1739, the UK’s first dedicated home for children whose parents were unable to care for them.

Volunteers who take part in Transcription Tuesday will help to transcribe the first set of records from the archive, the General Registers, documents recording the details of children admitted to the Foundling Hospital. The registers are an excellent key to unlocking the stories of children at the Foundling Hospital, as they show all their crucial information and movements during their time in care there.

An example from the General Registers.

How can I get involved?

Transcribing takes place on the global volunteering platform Zooniverse. If you’re interested in taking part on Transcription Tuesday, visit our project page where you will find a tutorial on how to start transcribing, helpful tips and contextual information about the records. We encourage you to register on the Zooniverse site if you’d like to stay involved throughout the day.

Volunteering is open to everyone – no specialist background, training or expertise is required, and you can commit as much or little time as you wish.

If you have any questions on the day, please email us at

What happens next?

Beyond Transcription Tuesday, other fascinating materials that will be digitised throughout the four-year programme include letters from mothers appealing for their children to be admitted to the Hospital, books containing fabric tokens mothers left as a symbol of their connection to their children, and the details of the everyday lives of children cared for at the Hospital. If you’d like to join us as a volunteer, please sign up here to find out more.

When transcription of the materials is complete, they will be made available in our archive and on our story of care timeline for anyone to browse.

Sign up now to volunteer