Notable Women, Notable Manuscripts: Maria Weston Chapman

In celebration of Women’s History month, this is the fourth post in a series by guest blogger Kim Reynolds (Curator of Manuscripts) focusing on BPL's special collections featuring notable 19th-century American women. Maria Weston Chapman (1806-1885) was a noted abolitionist, editor, writer and activist. She was the oldest of eight children born in Weymouth, Massachusetts…
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1 Year Anniversary of Anti-Slavery Manuscripts at the Boston Public Library

Hi there,   One year ago today (National Handwriting Day, no less!), we launched Anti-Slavery Manuscripts at the Boston Public Library.   In the year since launch, our incredible community of transcribers has spent thousands of hours helping to transcribe the Boston Public Library’s Anti-Slavery Collection.   For that, we want to say:   Thank…
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Aggregating Annotations in the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts Project

Hi all, I am Coleman Krawczyk. My role for the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts project has been building the data aggregation code. In other words, I write the code that combines each of the volunteers’ transcriptions into one consensus transcription. This is also the code that draws the underline markings on the pages to indicate what lines…
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Independent vs. Collaborative Transcription: Zooniverse Research & Anti-Slavery Manuscripts

In January, the Boston Public Library announced the launch of our Anti-slavery manuscript transcription website. This site was developed by a team from Zooniverse led by Dr. Samantha Blickhan. The goal of this project is to engage and enable a community of motivated citizens to help convert handwritten verse into machine readable text. This transcribed text…
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The Boston Mob of 1835

Boston abolitionists faced great opposition from their fellow Northerners during the early years of the anti-slavery movement. To say that everyone in the North supported an end to slavery would not have been true. Many letters, which you can help transcribe online at the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts Project, discuss how pro-slavery mobs often interrupted abolitionist meetings…
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Abolitionist Stationery

If you help transcribe abolitionist letters at the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts Project, you will come across a few letters that are printed on interesting stationery. Some abolitionists wrote their personal letters on letterhead with anti-slavery drawings. Sometimes, they used this stationery strategically when writing to individuals who held opposing views on emancipation. In a letter to…
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The Anti-slavery Fair

Female abolitionists played a key role in the abolitionist movement. In 1833, a group of Boston women decided to form their own organization. It was called the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society, and it had both white and black members. The organization looked for ways to support the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (a local branch of the…
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The Liberator

  From 1831 to 1865, William Lloyd Garrison, a vocal white abolitionist, edited a weekly newspaper, titled The Liberator, in Boston, Massachusetts. When other abolitionists supported a slow end to slavery, Garrison vowed from the very first issue of The Liberator to “strenuously contend for the immediate enfranchisement of our slave populations,” which was a…
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The American Anti-Slavery Almanac

When transcribing letters from the Anti-Slavery Manuscripts project, you may come across letters in which important figures, such as Lydia Maria Child, discuss the American Anti-Slavery Almanac. On June 20, 1860, Child wrote to William Lloyd Garrison about an almanac they planned to publish, asking Garrison, “How many pages do you propose to have?...If you…
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