20 Jun Volunteers Wanted! 75,000 Strong!
Are you a history buff? Do you have a computer and Internet access? The call is out for volunteers to join the Decoding the Civil War (DCW) Volunteer Corps. It’s a crowd sourcing project that bands experts and amateurs together to transcribe the daily telegram communications among Union officers, Cabinet members, telegraph operators, and others. Volunteers will examine a collection consisting of almost 16,000 telegrams and 32 code books from the Thomas T. Eckert Papers, an archive believed to be lost at the end of the war.
Let’s take a peek at how it works. To begin, choose “Classify” or “Get Started!”, and you will be presented with a randomly selected image drawn from one of 35 ledgers or 32 code books. A Field Guide will help you figure out if the image is a telegram, a page from a code book; a blank page, a cover, a spine, or something else. Then just type the words you see, following the simple directions – and prepare to be fascinated by the world you have entered.
The transcriptions and decoding of this material will allow the public access to previously unavailable historical records and help to build a deeper understanding of the United States Civil War, giving insight into telegraphy, cryptography, and civilian-military relations. Answer the muster call at www.decodingthecivilwar.org.