You can join an EMPOP transcribathon anytime (even before or after the big day) by following this link to and selecting Transcribathons.

Next, click on EMPOP.

Then select a page spread that fewer than 3 people have started, by clicking on one of the blue image numbers: 001, 002, 003, 004… (or, farther down, fol. 14v or fol. 15r, or 12v || 13r). You can see beside each blue number how many transcriptions of the corresponding image have been “started” and how many are “complete.” We hope to complete three transcripts of each image.

You don’t have to choose images randomly. For help selecting something in the Ransom Center manuscript, check out Faith Acker’s introduction to the various hands that copied the text that the volume now contains.

By scrolling farther down, you will see a new source for EMPOP, V.a.103. For help choosing a place to start in this manuscript, see the contents lists and descriptions compiled here.

If you’d like something more challenging, you can try the Folger manuscript with which EMPOP began, V.a.339. To find images of it, scroll all the way down. Eventually you’ll see links labeled (somewhat misleadingly) “V.a.339: Commonplace book.”

Unless you like neo-Latin prose (such as Wolfgang Musculus’ 1553 In decalogum praeceptorum), you may want to keep scrolling—say, down to the religious prose in English that begins folios 6v and 7r, or to the poetry that starts on fols. 18v-19r. For help choosing a portion of the Folger manuscript, click on this introduction to its contents.

Once you’ve selected an image, transcribe what you read, using the “Save” “button” frequently.

The other “buttons” surrounding the “Save” command can help make your transcription more efficient and more precise. Select the “?” to see what each of them does.

For more extensive directions, download the ones that Faith Acker wrote for the Folger manuscript or the ones that she wrote for the Ransom manuscript.

If you plan to take part, why not let us know by emailing us at Or you could tweet @ us with the hashtag #EMPOPstars. We might be able to help you find an image that suits your interests and current ability. We could communicate over an EMPOP video as well.