Participate in the #1000pages Transcription Challenge

Calling all history enthusiasts and citizen archivists! Participate in the Transcription Challenge this week and help us meet — and surpass! — our goal of transcribing more than 1000 pages.

Join us in celebrating Sunshine Week and transcribe records in our new National Archives Catalog. We’ll be tracking our progress every day this week, so help us get to 1000 pages by Monday, March 23.
#1000pages graphic
Visit the Transcription Challenge webpage for more information. Use the hashtag #1000pages and tweet us @USNatArchives. Share with us what you discover in the records.

We have millions of pages of handwritten and typed documents that are waiting for you. Check out all of our Transcription Missions, or search for your favorite records.

You could work on transcribing more than 100 pages of the widow’s pension file for Harriet Tubman Davis or use your skills to read the difficult handwriting in the Papers of the Continental Congress.

Deposition of John Robins Regarding Hostilities at Lexington.
Transcribe this record

You can transcribe any record in the catalog by using the “View/Add Contributions” button underneath the digitized records. You’ll need to create a login to transcribe.

Since it’s Sunshine Week, it’s a great time to work on transcribing declassified records we have online.  You’ll see a classification and declassification markings, along with evidence of important historical events.  You can help transcribe National Security Decision Directives (NSDDs), like the image below:

Space Policy document
NSDD 42 National Space Policy, 7/4/1982.
Transcribe this record.

Transcribing is fun, but also an important open government activity.  Celebrate Sunshine Week with the National Archives and help us get to #1000pages!

8 thoughts on “Participate in the #1000pages Transcription Challenge

  1. Of the links you provide above with lists of materials needing transcription, most appear to have been transcribed…at least every one I have clicked on, even down into some of the lists, seem to have been tackled.

  2. Is there a video to watch on how to transcribe? I’d hate to screw up one of these 1000 pages. I am thinking about joining the project.

  3. Thanks for that catching the date issue. We’ll change it to reflect, Monday, March 23.

    The links above were just to get you started. Please visit to check out other Transcription Missions and individual records we’ve highlighted. Any record in catalog can be transcribed, so you can also do a keyword search to find records on topics that are of interest to you. Filter your search results at the top by selecting the “documents” tab. If you find a record that isn’t appropriate for transcription, try tagging that record instead.

    We don’t have a video on how to transcribe yet, but we do have instructions for getting started and tips for transcription on this page: We’re asking folks to transcribe what you see. You don’t need to try to format the record, but capture the information on the record. If you need to make a notation, use brackets around the notation. For example, if a word is underlined, you can indicate that by [underlined].

    The transcriptions will always be open to editing, so you can encourage others to review your transcriptions to double check your work. We won’t be marking transcriptions “completed,” but rather encouraging review over time.

    No one needs to do 1000 pages themselves! We are keeping track of the total numbers of pages transcribed, so the challenge was for 1000 total pages. So many contributions came in for the first two days, that we’ve already surpassed the 1000 page goal! We’re excited to see how many we can do over the next week!

    Thank you everyone for your contributions!!

  4. Thank you! Citizen archivists transcribed 2,500 pages and added 10,000 tags to the National Archives Catalog during Sunshine Week, March 16-23, 2015. We more than double the 1,000 page goal! Check out our Storify of the Transcription Challenge:

    We still need your help! We have millions of pages of digitized records available in our online catalog. Check out how to get started at:

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