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Help ISU Archives decipher history

Charles Hovey

Charles Edward Hovey, first president of Illinois State Normal University (1857-1862).

Welcome back, Redbirds! We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening at the ISU Archives including a project where YOU get to Decipher History.

With help from Milner Library’s Digital Center, the entire collection of our first university president, Charles Hovey, has been digitized. This means that anyone wanting to read his letters or see family pictures held in his collection can now see them all online.

However, these items have not yet been transcribed. Without a transcription for each document, the digital file cannot be properly preserved and basic search functions cannot be performed. For example, a researcher could not perform a keyword search throughout Hovey’s digitized collection because the digital transcription for each document does not yet exist.

This is where you come in! Anyone can help us transcribe our first president’s collection by going to his page on Decipher History, choosing a section, and picking a digitized document. Once you have entered your transcription, the information will be reviewed for accuracy and eventually submitted with that document as part of its lasting digital footprint.

Related Article: New Archives Tablet brings fragile collections to campus, community A new piece of technology is giving the ISU community access to rare and fragile documents.

Along with Charles Hovey’s papers, there are several other collections in Decipher History that need your help. Special Collections in Milner Library has made collections available such as circus history, rural Illinois farm life, and military service. There’s plenty to choose from.

We’ll be showcasing more of our archival collections and projects for you later in the term so, watch for updates. Happy spring 2016, Redbirds!

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