Transcribathon 2019: An Anonymous Medical Text

5 November 2019
Folger Manuscript V.b.400:
Transcribing Anonymous Medicine


Please join the Early Modern Recipe Online Collective (EMROC) for our fifth annual international Transcribathon, as we make an anonymous early modern medical recipe manuscript searchable for users around the globe. We will have transcription groups working in at least a dozen locations, on three continents, with individuals coming and going virtually throughout the day.

Using the Folger Shakespeare Library’s online transcription platform Dromio, we’ll collaborate to transcribe the seventeenth/eighteenth-century cookbook, Folger Manuscript V.b.400. The manuscript contains medicinal recipes and features a clear hand. For more background on the collection, see EMROC’s V.b.400 project page.  In the event that we are able to finish two keyings (necessary for vetting) of this manuscript, we will continue work begun in EMROC classrooms on V.a.621 (announcements will be made if this occurs). 

This year, the transcribathon will also have two added elements, a zoom-link that will connect speakers throughout the day and subject hashtags on Twitter

We will have transcription groups working at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the University of Essex, North Carolina State University, the University of Akron, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Penn State Abington, Stanford University (CESTA), the Newberry library and other campuses, with individuals coming and going virtually throughout the day. Along the way, participants will virtually meet scholars from around the world and emerge from the day with a line for their CV—all from their own home, classroom, or office! NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY – we’ll walk you through the coding and offer pointers on the handwriting.

Interested in joining our Transcribathon virtually? Contact Lisa Smith before November 5, at lisa.smith@essex.ac.uk or @historybeagle, or jump in on the day.

On this page, please find a series of resources to orient, help, and inform.

Using Dromio 101 for the 2019 Transcribathon. Dromio is our transcription platform. It’s intuitive and super easy to use.

Glossary of XML buttons. Dromio has a number of XML buttons. Here is a handy list of what they do.

Encoding in XML – A Quick Reference


Key links


EMROC blog (for quick and dirty blog posts as things happen, as well as more thoughtful posts later)

V.B.400, the manuscript we’re transcribing. Go to transcribe.folger.edu. Select ‘transcribathons’. Then ‘EMROC’. The text we’re doing will be near the bottom.

Zoom link to connect with other transcribers: https://essex-university.zoom.us/j/706439992

Twitter (for those of us live-tweeting the event, at #EMROCtranscribes)

EMROCK 2019 Spotify Playlist

Dromio FAQ (for questions about using tags, and much else)

Sample Transcription from Winche Manuscript (to see a model of a “typical” page)

Pre-transcribathon survey so we can learn more about our participants. (Thank you!!!)