Instructions for beginners

Several instructors led students through the first transcribathon on October 25th, 2018 (stretching from Carlo Bajetta and Ileana Sasu at Università della Valle d’Aosta to Megan Heffernan at DePaul University). One of these instructors, Faith Acker, wrote extensive directions for her students at Northern Virginia Community College. These are suitable even for students who plan to get started on their own. So they can also help most anyone with questions about how to get started. Especially if the introduction offered elsewhere on this site leaves some of your questions unanswered, check out  Faith Acker’s more detailed instructions.

EMPOP at the Folger

The Folger Shakespeare Library is also hosting a site for the first EMPOP transcribathon this Thursday—all day long (from 9:00 to 4:30)! The designated room, on Deck B, is accessible through the reading room. Participants who are not yet Folger researchers should contact for directions and an escort (through this place). At 2:00, Team Folger will run a (metaphorical) sprint, and then pause for tea at 3:00. (Can you see how amazing this is going to be?) Check out the Folger EMPOP poster. Thank you, Heather Wolfe, Owen Williams, Liza Blake, and Heidi Craig.


Cambridge University Library and the Centre for Material Texts are joining the EMPOP transcribathon from 10:00 to noon in the Aoi meeting room. There will be “FREE CAKE for all transcribers.” If you can join them there, sign up at (so that they know how much CAKE to buy). Here’s the poster. Thanks very much to Suzanne Paul, Keeper of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts, for arranging this.


At the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2017 conference celebrating the library’s “Early Modern Manuscripts Online” project (EMMO), the Curator of Manuscripts, Heather Wolfe, called for other groups of manuscript scholars, organized on the model of EMROC: the “Early Modern Recipes Online Collective” ( She suggested, in particular, a group that would focus on poetical manuscripts. At the end of the conference, on Heather’s rooftop patio, Garth Bond came up with the perfect name for a group that would complement EMROC by focusing on another genre: EMPOP, the Early Modern Poetry Online Project. In the summer of 2018, the co-founders of EMPOP began sharing their scholarship, in draft, in the first ever EMPOP videos. In the fall, they plan to host their first transcribathon, focused on a lengthy, closely-written manuscript miscellany of verse and prose (Folger MS V.a.339, shown above). This event will have sites at National University of Ireland Galway (hosted by Erin McCarthy), DePaul University (Megan Heffernan), Virginia Commonwealth University (Joshua Eckhardt), Northern Virginia Community College (Faith Acker), and the Folger. To let us know that you’d like to join, whether in person or online, leave a comment or email