How to join the project

  1. Register on the Zooniverse website we are using for the project. To do this, go to the Zooniverse website and click on ‘Register’ in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Then join our project by clicking here to go to our Zooniverse project page.

Start transcribing

On the main page scroll down to ‘Get started’ and choose a record set to transcribe. For example, ‘Inspection Books’.

Read the Tutorial to get familiar with how it all works.

You are now ready to transcribe!

You will see the historical record on the left and the transcribing task on the right. Follow the instructions to type what you see in the record into the text box. Click on ‘Need some help with this task’ for guidance about each step.

Get help and advice

  • Click on the ‘Field Guide’ tab on the right-hand side of the screen. There you will get information about the records and answers to lots of the common queries about transcribing.
  • Ask questions in the project message board Talk.
  • See answers to common questions about the transcription process in our FAQs.

Information about the project

More about volunteering on Voices Through Time: The Story of Care

What is the volunteering role?
Transcribing (typing out) words from historic documents.

Do I need to know anything about historic documents?
No, you don’t need any specialist knowledge to transcribe them. Just type what you see on the page.

What if I don’t have much time?
That is completely ok. You can volunteer for as much or as little time as you have to spare.

What can I get out of it?
When you are transcribing, you’ll get an insight into the amazing history of the Foundling Hospital and Coram, and the life of the children who were cared for at the Hospital. You’ll also be able to dig into the records to trace the stories of children there, and much more!

I have a question about transcribing, how can I get help?
If you need help, write your query in the project message board Talk. Our team will get back to you there.

Have a read of the discussions going on on the boards with the team and other volunteers. There are often lots of volunteers asking the same questions as you. In fact, you may well find that your question has already been answered there!

What if I can’t read the handwriting?
If you can’t read every word that’s fine. We know historical handwriting can take some adjusting to. We have tips about historical handwriting in the Field Guide on the right-hand side of the page. If you’re struggling to read a letter or word, we recommend zooming in, reading aloud or looking for examples of similar letters on the page.

Where will the transcriptions go when they are finished?
Once all the records have been transcribed, they will be uploaded to a dedicated area on our website.
For answers to questions about the transcription process itself, have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

What is Zooniverse?
Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research. Volunteers around the world come together to assist researchers by making contributions to their research. This can be by transcribing documents, making classifications or answering questions, amongst many other things.