What is FromThePage?
FromThePage is software that allows volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents online. This FromThePage installation is hosted by the University of Texas Libraries to explore opportunities for crowd-sourcing and student participation in document transcription projects involving UT collections. We invite all members of the UT community to work together and create transcription projects. If you are interested in using FromThePage for your research or in the classroom, you can contact Allyssa Guzman at allyssa.guzman [at] austin.utexas.edu . If you are interested in learning more about how to use FromThePage, please check out our LibGuide for a full walk-through of FromThePage features.
Jennifer Hecker at UT Libraries first began using FromThePage for the Austin Fanzine Project in early 2012. In the summer and fall of 2015, the Provost’s Teaching Fellows program supported customization for UT and deployment on a UT Libraries test server as part of Adam Rabinowitz’s PTF project, which focused on crowdsourced archival transcription as a pedagogical tool. This pilot project involved the transcription of portions of the archives of Texas lawmaker and UT founder Judge Alexander Watkins Terrell, held at UT’s Briscoe Center for American History. In 1894, Terrell visited the site of Troy and tried to convince UT to purchase the site and/or Frank Calvert’s archaeological collection, and the letters describing this were transcribed for a UGS course on the Trojan War in the fall of 2015. Subsequent iterations of that UGS class have transcribed papers on Terrell’s diplomatic activities in the mid-1890s. In 2017 LLILAS-Benson Digital Scholarship Office arranged for the transition of the UT Libraries instance of FromThePage from a development server to a stable production environment. This permanent UT Libraries instance is now the platform for international transcription projects supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Pelagios Commons, and the focus of a major new grant from the NEH, directed by Allyssa Guzman and Albert Palacios, to expand FromThePage’s multilingual capacity and develop workflows to incorporate citizen transcription contributions into archival collections.
Students in Adam Rabinowitz's Signature Course "Tales of the Trojan War" use FromThePage to work with primary documents from the Alexander Watkins Terrell archive in the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The students use correspondence between Terrell, Frank Calvert (who owned and excavated the site of Homeric Troy), and supporters of UT in 1894, when Calvert offered the site and his collection for sale to the University, as evidence for a short paper. At the same time, they contribute to historical knowledge by transcribing other parts of Terrell's archive relating to his tenure as Minister Plenipotentiary to the Ottoman Porte, during a troubled period that saw the first massacres of Armenians in Turkey.