What is FromThePage?
FromThePage is software that allows volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents online. This particular instance has been installed by the UT Library to explore opportunities for crowdsourcing and student participation in document transcription projects involving UT collections. Currently it is serving as a platform for a pilot program to transcribe portions of the archives of Texas lawmaker and UT founder Judge Alexander Watkins Terrell, held at UT’s Briscoe Center for American History. The papers being transcribed are all connected with Terrell’s time as the United States Minister Plenipotentiary to the Ottoman Porte in Constantinople from 1893 to 1897. Initial transcription contributions focus on his visit to the archaeological site of Troy in 1894 and his attempts to convince the University to purchase the land and/or collection of Frank Calvert.
The FromThePage software is still under development, but we'd like to invite people to look around and send suggestions and bug reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. If anything looks broken, hard to understand, or just odd, please let us know! For a behind-the-scenes look at the development effort, check out the product development blog.
If you're interested in using FromThePage to host a transcription project, we're looking for you. The software is free to use. Please email email@example.com and tell us about your project.
Some of Terrell’s papers related to his visit to Troy have already been transcribed. Below, you can find Frank Calvert’s letter written to Terrell in November of 1894, after Terrell’s visit to the site. In this letter, Calvert offers to sell his land at the site to Terrell, and notes that he’s appraising the value of the collection.
Work on the transcription of Terrell’s papers is ongoing. If you’re a student in UGS302: Tales of the Trojan War, fall 2015, you’ll be helping with this! To get started, you’ll need to create an account. Let your instructor know your username, and he’ll give you access to the collection (once you’ve found and photographed the original documents at the Briscoe Center). Then the collection “Terrell, Calvert and Troy (UGS302)” will appear on your dashboard. Go to it, find a document that hasn’t been completely transcribed yet, choose a page, and click the “transcribe” tab. For instructions on transcription conventions and codes for basic formatting (underline, bold, strikethrough, etc.), see the “help” tab on the webpage for a work, or check the user guide in the course site on Canvas.