Frederick Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon

February 14, 2018 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm America/New York Timezone
Carl A. Fields Center
Frederick Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon @ Carl A. Fields Center

Join us to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ 200th Birthday with a Transcribe-a-thon on the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers! 12-3 PM (EST)

Registration now open: Click to sign up. | View the event flyer.

This February 14, 2018, we invite you to a 200th birthday party for Frederick Douglass. Campus and local community members are invited to enjoy some birthday cake and help transcribe the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, a bureau established after the Civil War to help formerly enslaved people transition to freedom. The event at Princeton joins dozens of other celebrations being held simultaneously across the US and abroad. Come when you can, bring a laptop, and leave when you must!

This event is presented by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Transcription Center, and the Colored Conventions Project. The Princeton gathering is sponsored by the Center for Digital Humanities, the Pace Center for Public Engagement, the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding, Princeton University Library, and the Department of African American Studies.

Registration & info:
Birthday cake & light snacks served.

Douglass Day in 2018

This year we will feature a transcribe-a-thon on the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers. We are delighted to co-present Douglass Day with the Smithsonian Transcription Center and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

The event will be streamed online in video. CCP members and NMAAHC/SI staff will be available to talk with you on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll get to work in Delaware, Princeton, Washington D.C., and simultaneous events around the country and abroad. Let’s preserve the long history of Black activism together!

How can I get involved?

Sign up to participate!

Join us online.

Organize a local event

Sign up to learn if an event is happening in your area.

Order a birthday cake for Frederick Douglass. Bonus points for Black-owned bakeries!

Pass the word along — share, retweet and follow the CCPNMAAHC, and the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Join the conversation using #FreedmensBureau and #DouglassDay.  

To sign up for any of these, please fill out our registration form.

Where does Douglass Day come from? 

Douglass Day is a holiday that began around the turn of the 20th century. After the passing of Frederick Douglass in 1895, Black communities across the U.S. gathered to celebrate his birthday every year on February 14th. They celebrated, remembered, and protested against the threat of racial violence and attacks on their civil rights. Douglass Day may have been one of the original inspirations for Black History Month, shaped by Mary Church Terrell and Carter G. Woodson. In 2017, the Colored Conventions Project revived Douglass Day. Over 250 people came together at nine locations across the U.S. to work on Transcribe Minutes. (See the 2017 page.)