Collections Transcription Project Awarded NEH CARES Grant

July 1, 2020

We are pleased to announce that the Friends of Mount Auburn has been awarded an NEH CARES Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support our Historical Collections & Archives staff and their new crowdsourcing initiative to transcribe historical documents in our digital collection.

Launched during the Coronavirus pandemic when staff were required to work remotely, the project invites everyone – staff, volunteers, historians, and the public – to engage with the Cemetery to help make available hard-to-read letters and 19th-century reports by transcribing them at home. “This grant will help us with community engagement and involvement with our history like never before,” says Curator of Historical Collections & Archives Meg Winslow. “There’s nothing like decoding a 19th-century letter with distinctive cursive handwriting and descriptive language to make history come alive!”

With more than 8,000 digital images uploaded and over 900 pages already transcribed, the project has a growing team of more than 60 volunteers from around the world (10 countries and counting). The project has proven to be a meaningful way to connect with the Cemetery and to help out from home during the pandemic. We invite everyone with a computer and internet connection to join the project by logging onto to help transcribe our documents and tell the story of Mount Auburn.  

“We’re so grateful to the NEH for this award,” says Meg Winslow. “Funding is needed for humanities projects now more than ever and it is crucial during this pandemic.” Thanks to the NEH’s support, Mount Auburn will be continuing this ambitious project with’s interactive web platform for the rest of 2020. We look forward to making more of our archival collections available to everyone!

Learn more about the project here, and visit to try transcribing yourself!

The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

About the Author: Anna Moir

Grants & Communications Manager View all posts by Anna Moir →

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