Library of Congress Launches Transcription Campaign for Rarely Seen Post-Civil War Petition from Black South Carolina Residents Seeking Equal Rights
The Library of Congress hosted a special display and press conference to announce a new transcription campaign seeking to learn more about the signers of a rarely seen 1865 petition by Black residents in South Carolina calling for equal rights.
In the wake of the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved people, Black residents submitted petitions to the federal government for equal treatment under the law. One such petition from South Carolina residents is addressed to the U.S. Congress and stretches to 54 feet in length when fully extended.
Little is known about the creation of this petition, which has been held at the Library since 1939. The petition was recently displayed in an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and featured in the Library’s magazine.
The Library’s By the People crowdsourcing program is launching a campaign at crowd.loc.gov seeking to encourage further research and learn more about the petition and its signers.
Since 2018, the Library of Congress has invited virtual volunteers to transcribe pages from history through By the People. To date, volunteers have completed over 620,000 pages. Completed transcriptions enhance collection discovery and access on loc.gov.
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