Archives Volunteer (Special Collections) – MAPP Transcription Project

Archives Volunteer:

The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP)

Location: Virtual volunteering for the University of Reading Archives and Special Collections

The University of Reading Special Collections’ team is currently organising a volunteer-driven project to provide searchable transcriptions of items within our MAPP digital archive:

Why We Want You:

We may be familiar with the stories we read in books, but what about the stories of the people who work to make these books a reality?

The MAPP website is an international digital archive consisting of materials relating to the book publishing trade. We are looking for help transcribing letters and items belonging to The Hogarth Press. Although these records and some of their summaries are already available on our website, the letters and other items are not yet text searchable. You will therefore be responsible for providing a valuable tool for researchers and the public, helping to uncover a far greater number of key words and search terms.

Short background of The Hogarth Press:

The Hogarth Press was founded in 1917 by Virginia and Leonard Woolf. We are asking you to look at a portion of this archive on MAPP, containing the correspondence between The Hogarth Press and authors, publishers, printing businesses and the public. This correspondence concerns various titles which are in the process of being printed or re-printed by The Hogarth Press which includes Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s own work.

What you will be doing

You will be creating word processed transcriptions; this generally means typing exactly what you read in an item by following certain formatting guidelines to create transcriptions that preserve the original document, including spelling mistakes!

We will provide you with links to the items that are currently offered online, there will be a selection of items held by the University of Reading and the University of Sussex and you will be able to choose which letters you would like to transcribe. We will provide you with a list of titles and summaries that are currently available on the MAPP website, and your transcription will feature alongside the letter, or item on the MAPP website.

At first, we are asking you to transcribe typescript letters but there will be opportunities to create transcriptions of handwritten letters.

We will deliver training, guidance, and provide resources to help you with your transcriptions.

You will be part of, and contribute to, the work of an international team. It is a participatory project; you will be welcomed into our community of researchers with the chance to engage in certain events.

This role will suit if you:

  • Can work independently, but also enjoy being part of a team.
  • Have an interest in 20th Century books or modernist and publishing history
  • Are comfortable with word processing software e.g., Word, and related terminology
  • Have strong attention to detail
  • Are comfortable with remote working, we will connect with you over email and Microsoft Teams.

What you will gain in return:

  • Discover more about the workings of the book trade and the process of publishing a book
  • The opportunity to work with archivists at the University of Reading, Special Collections
  • The possibility to write guest blogs on MAPP
  • You will be directly engaged with an ongoing international research project, making archival records even more accessible to the public
  • Access to engage with events that MAPP will organise

How much time will it take up?

We would appreciate if you could contribute an average of 1-3 hours per week to the project.

Who does the role report to?

Helena Clarkson:  Project Archivist: Based at the MERL and The University of Reading Special Collections:    

To apply:

Please complete your volunteer registration form on our volunteering platform ‘Better Impact’ by midnight on Wednesday 6th April 2022.

Please click on this link to the volunteering platform
Please ensure you tick ‘Archive Volunteer – MAPP Transcription Project’ in your ‘Interests’ section under My Profile, when registering.

Existing volunteers - If you are already registered to volunteer with Museums Partnership Reading, please log in to the volunteering platform, click on ‘My Profile’, select the ‘Interests’ section, and ensure you tick the box next to ‘Archive Volunteer – MAPP Transcription Project’ by midnight on Wednesday 6th April 2022.

Matching to the Role

We are fortunate to have perennial interest from prospective volunteers hoping to volunteer with our archives for fascinating projects such as this.

To help us select our first cohort, after Thursday 7th April we will look through all the registration forms of those interested, and draw up a shortlist of those who most closely match our ideal requirements. We will invite a limited number of prospective volunteers to create an example transcription exercise from a typescript letter.

If you are selected for the project, you will be invited to a kick-off meeting from 11am-12.00pm on Tuesday 19th April 2022.