Category Archives: Online collection

Help transcribe documents online!

The Charlemont Historical Society collection includes many handwritten documents that were created between the early 1800s and the mid-1900s. In order to make these documents more accessible for genealogists and other researchers, we are launching a online transcription project — and we need your help! Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, you can be a volunteer on this important project.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Please go to FromThePage, a website where we have uploaded images of handwritten documents from the Charlemont Historical Society that need to be transcribed.FromThePage1
  2. Look at the upper right-hand corner of the homepage for the words “Sign In.” Click these words and follow the instructions for registering as a new user. (This step just involves setting up a username and password.) Sign in with your new credentials.FromThePage2
  3. Go back to the homepage and click on “Collections.”FromThePage1A
  4. Scroll down through a list of other transcription projects until you see “Charlemont Historical Society.” Click on our name.FromThePage3
  5. Click on the name of a document you would like to help transcribe. FromThePage4
  6. Some documents will have more than one page. Pages that have not been transcribed yet will be marked with this message: “This page is not transcribed, please help transcribe this page.” Click on a page that has not been transcribed yet.FromThePage5
  7. You will be taken to a page that has two parts. On the left, you will see an image of the document to be transcribed. On the right, you will see a box with a link that says “This page is not transcribed.  Please help transcribe this page or mark the page blank.” Click the transcription link.FromThePage6
  8. Start typing the words you see on the original document into the box on the right-hand side of the screen. FromThePage7
  9. When you have typed everything on the page, click the “Save Changes” button. That’s it!

Right now, we just have a few documents available to transcribe, but we will be adding new material regularly over the next few weeks. If you have any questions about this project or need assistance using the transcription website, please be in touch! Thank you for your help!

Putting our collection online

Omeka1

One of our big projects this year involves putting items from the Charlemont Historical Society collection online. In keeping with our “Textiles” theme of this year, the first items we have digitized are quilts, coverlets, and flags.

We are using a tool called Omeka to  share these materials online. Developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Omeka makes it possible for small historical societies and museums like ours to make exhibits and collections available to everyone, anywhere.

You can see what we have already digitized by clicking on the “online collection” button on the menu bar of this website. Another way to get to the online collection is to visit:

http://charlemonthistoricalsociety.omeka.net/

The total number of items currently online is small. We will be adding more materials on a rolling basis from now on, however, and hope that you will check back regularly to see what new materials have been digitized. Recently-added items are displayed on the right-hand side of the online collection website, as shown in the screenshot above.

This digitization project allows us to share materials that are rarely seen by the public and that may be of interest to researchers, regardless of where they live. If you are a genealogist with ancestors from the Charlemont area, you may find items of interest in this online collection.

For instance, two of the textiles currently in the online collection are signature quilts that show the names of women who lived in Charlemont in the past. One of these quilts dates back to the late 1860s and includes women’s names, the towns where they lived (in Charlemont and surrounding communities), dates, and, in one case, age and birthday details.

If you are interested in helping us with this digitization effort, please be in touch! We welcome volunteers for this and other projects.