On October 9, we challenged Smithsonian Transcription volunteers to transcribe the field notes of Ladd, Ward, and G. Arthur Cooper. See the details of the challenge here.
It took exactly three and a half days for volunteers to completely transcribe 9 sets of field notes totaling 252 pages. An average of 14 people contributed to each project. The range? 35 people co-opted our longest Cooper journal, while only 3 tackled his shortest 6 page journal.
Here’s what happened in the numbers:
- 12 total projects completed in those days, including our 9 #FossilFossick Projects!
- 30 New volunteers!
- 252 pages completed – and 712 Pages total over the challenge dates!
- 3.5 Days from launch to completely transcribe and review the #FossilFossick field notes!
- Visits from 48 countries including Germany, Ecuador, Turkey, India, and New Zealand
Sharing the Challenge
Through 114 #FossilFossick Tweets and other communication, the #FossilFossick challenge gathered 192.7k impressions. The challenge announcement e-mail was opened by 1,895 people, who in total clicked on links 177 times. The update campaign e-mail sent 3 days later, pushing us through the last 29 pages, was opened by 1,121 people and resulted in 101 link clicks.
We also asked volunteers to help us track correspondents, specimens, and locations. This part of the challenge is on-going! You can still help by reading the completed field notes (perhaps by downloading the PDF) and entering details in this Google Spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/FossilFossick
Finds From #FossilFossick Hunters
What did volunteers find interesting about this challenge? Handwriting to buddies to technology and the real personalities behind scientific field work. First, our volunteers were more than amused by Harry Ladd’s adventures and his playful personality, as well as his colorful pals.
Aeneid allusion alert! Evidently, Willy is Ladd’s Patroclus! @TranscribeSI #FossilFossick https://t.co/6k1wF8S4hu pic.twitter.com/hUjDk5E4nb
— Witchy Meg (@meg_shuler) October 10, 2015
Other volunteers tried to determine whether Ward took a street car, golf cart, or automobile from Alexandria to Mount Vernon.
.@TranscribeSI Ward misses his “electric car” & has 2 walk. Wonder if its an actual car or a trolley https://t.co/1QtyvuViXA #fossilfossick
— Siobhan (@SiobhanLeachman) October 11, 2015
Still others shared information to help one another tackle the challenge – great collaboration even from the start of the event!
To anyone who’s into #FossilFossick project (https://t.co/HL1hUdIhpH), here’s a handy fossil search db http://t.co/byhnFhfuj5 #volunpeers
— Loukritia (@loukritia_sin) October 10, 2015
A total success deserves a totally fantastic reward: be sure to tune into the behind-the-scenes tour of Smithsonian fossil collections with Dr. Nicholas Pyenson, Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, via the BHL Periscope on October 26 as a reward for the successful completion of the challenge. More details to come on Twitter and Facebook.
You can explore the field notes in BHL:
You can also read all of the completed #FossilFossick projects by visiting the project pages with these links and downloading the PDFs:
- Harry S. Ladd – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7811
- Harry S. Ladd – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7812
- Lester F. Ward – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7810
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7804
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7805
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7806
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7807
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7808
- G. Arthur Cooper – https://transcription.si.edu/project/7809