Transcription Workshop: Women, Education & Reform in the Nineteenth Century

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Davison Building, Royal Holloway

Egham Hill

Egham

TW20 0EX

United Kingdom

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Help us digitize and make accessible histories of nineteenth-century women's social activism and education reform!

About this Event

**The meeting point for this event is the Davison Building Foyer. If you have any problems finding it, please call Katie on 07909 996459.**

The Centre for Victorian Studies and Royal Holloway, University of London Archives are looking for volunteer transcribers to create word processed copies of manuscript letters to one of the College's founders, Elizabeth Jesser Reid. This workshop will introduce you to the history of the College, Elizabeth Jesser Reid's role in Victorian reform culture, and to transcribing Victorian letters. If you wish, you will be able to continue transcribing letters after the workshop, but there is no obligation to do so.

Elizabeth Jesser Reid (25 December 1789-1 April 1866) was a philanthropist, political activist, and pioneer of women’s education. Now best remembered for founding Bedford College, the first institution of higher education for women in the United Kingdom, Reid was also active in the transatlantic abolition movement. Reid was connected to a wide network of social reformers, political radicals, and leading writers, artists and intellectuals of the mid-nineteenth century in Britain, Europe and the United States. Her associates included the influential Martineau family, nursing and public health pioneer Florence Nightingale, and American anti-slavery activists Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucretia Mott, and Sarah Parker Remond, who took classes at Bedford College. Reid’s correspondence thus offers a window into debates over women’s education, the ideals and practicalities of reform work, the ways in which upper class radical women balanced public work and private lives, and the entanglement of social and political causes in the Victorian era.

To preserve this important history, we have recently created digital scans of a collection of letters to Elizabeth Jesser Reid held in the College archives. However, the digital images are not yet searchable, and some letters are harder to read than others, and cannot be read by, for example, screen readers used by people with visual disabilities. We would like to create word processed transcriptions of the letters to improve searchability and accessibility.

This workshop will introduce you to the fascinating history of the collection, of Elizabeth Jesser Reid, and of Royal Holloway's and Bedford College's place in nineteenth-century women's and education history. You will also also learn some skills and techniques for reading and transcribing Victorian handwriting, which will be useful for those who wish to conduct their own research in nineteenth-century archives. The workshop will provide you with all the skills you need to work on the project in your own time, and you can transcribe as few or as many letters as you want - there is no obligation to continue after the workshop. All transcribers will be fully credited on the digital archive.

Workshop Schedule

Arrive at Royal Holloway for 11am.

11-12:15pm - Talks on history of the College and the Collection by Annabel Valentine (College Archivist) and Dr Katie McGettigan (Senior Lecturer in American Literature)

12:15-1:15pm - Sandwich lunch (provided)

1:15-2pm - Transcription Training with Dr Katie McGettigan

2-4pm - Transcription Practice - with a break for refreshments in the middle!

Workshop finishes 4pm.

Skills Required

Participants will need to be comfortable with basic computer word processing and web browsing. No further skills or specialist knowledge are needed.

Accessibility

You will need to be able to read text from a computer screen. We endeavor to make the event as accessible as possible, so please do let us know if you have any requirements.

Date and Time

Location

Davison Building, Royal Holloway

Egham Hill

Egham

TW20 0EX

United Kingdom

View Map

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