We’re looking for volunteers to get involved on the day, to help with transcribing records from our archive, dating 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.
Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Voices Through Time: The Story of Care will see the digitisation of around 112,000 pages of records, which will be made accessible to all for the first time at coramstory.org.uk.
Amy Cotterill, Programme Manager of Voices Through Time: The Story of Care, said: “Coram is thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Transcription Tuesday. With the help of a fantastic team of volunteers transcribing, we will be able to reveal these children’s experiences and make the story of care accessible online to audiences around the world.”
How can I get involved?
If you’re interested in taking part, visit our project page on the global volunteering platform Zooniverse, where you will find a tutorial on how to start transcribing, helpful tips and contextual information about the records.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 records is complete, they will be made available on our new website coramstory.org.uk, alongside content from care-experienced young people today, who are engaging with the archive to understand and share their own stories of care.