Douglass Day 2017 Toolkit for Event Organizers 

Prepare your local event

1. Suggested materials:

  • A room to gather
  • Video screen/projector
  • Speakers
  • Internet access
  • Enough computers for everyone to use

2. Optional materials:

  • Microphone – if you or your group wants to contribute to the live video broadcast, please contact us by Feb 9 to make arrangements. 
  • Birthday cake for Frederick Douglass (share photos with us on social media!)
  • Plates, utensils, napkins, etc.

3. Please get to know Welcome to Transcribe Minutes so you can assist people in your group on the big day. 

4. Please ask everyone to pre-register for a transcriber account:

Day of the Transcribe-a-thon

Detailed public program

Time Session
12:00 pm Speakers, dramatic reading, and a tutorial on transcribing
12:40 pm Transcribing
1:30 pm Singing, birthday cake, and discussions

A note on the last 30 minutes: After the time for transcribing, we want to encourage conversations about what we find while transcribing. We’ll ask each group to draft up 2-3 “resolutions” in the style of the Colored Conventions. After about 10 minutes, we hope that everyone can share their resolutions on social media to help us build toward an energizing discussion at the end of the event. We’ll explain it during the early parts of the program on Tuesday.

Live stream:

We’ll start the video feed at 11:45 AM (Eastern) on our Facebook page: You do not need an account on Facebook to watch the video.

Event page:

We listed each of your groups on our event page: We tried to include all of the local sponsors, but please let us know if you want to add any others. Those listings will include links to your group’s Transcribe Minutes custom page.


How does Transcribe Minutes work? A tutorial with pictures. (Hi-res version

For your group’s pages, see the links on the event page: Our experience suggests that each person will be able to work on 2-3 pages during the transcribe-a-thon. That may vary by person and by document, but no need to worry about finishing everything. Our dedicated “volun-peers” tend to make rather quick work of quite a lot.

We’d like to ask each of you to coordinate dividing pages up among your groups. Every page in TM has its own unique URL, and we compiled those URLs by each group, downloadable from this Dropbox folder (link to Dropbox folder).

For our past events, we had success in printing the list of URLs out, and then cutting them up into slips of paper to pass around. Our system does NOT prohibit conflicting users, so we want to be careful to avoid losing anyone’s work. Or, we’re all ears for better ideas!

A few extra pages are listed on this Google doc: Extras


During the transcribing, we will go silent on the live video to let people concentrate. As an aid, senior CCP member Clay Colmon made a playlist on Spotify: CCP Frederick Douglass Celebration! (Spotify account required)

Social media:

We’ll broadcast the video, but we don’t want this to be a one-way channel! As your groups are working, we hope you’ll encourage everyone to ask questions, share cool phrases/snippets, or make comments on social media. CCP grad students, librarians, and faculty director will monitor the Facebook Live comments thread, the CCP twitter account, and the day’s hashtag #DouglassDay. We’ll also have prompt questions as people are transcribing and amplify cool stuff onto the video stream. Just like at the conventions, we want to hear everyone’s voices! We always love to see great photos of history in action too!

Keep a tally of participation:

Please keep a tally of the transcribers in your group. After the event, would you please email Jim with the number of students, staff, faculty and community members who transcribed as part of your group? Those numbers help us write grants to support future versions of these events, so our thanks for the data collection!

The Colored Conventions Project appreciates the support of:


The Colored Conventions Project was launched & cultivated at the University of Delaware from 2012-2020.