Humanities Teaching Lab: Frederick Douglass Day

Frederick DouglassHumanities
Humanities Teaching Lab: Frederick Douglass Day
Wednesday, February 14, 12 – 2 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

The Dresher Center for the Humanities invites the campus community to celebrate the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass at a digital “Transcribe-a-thon,” with public readings and birthday cake.

Although Douglass was born into bondage and never knew his birthdate, he chose to celebrate every year on February 14. In a spirit of radical love, we will commemorate his birthday and Black History Month by joining a national event that will simultaneously transcribe portions of the Freedmen’s Bureau Papers.

The Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon is the first Humanities Teaching Lab (HT Lab) of the Dresher Center’s new Inclusion Imperative Program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Through the Inclusion Imperative Program, partners UMBC, Bowie State University, Coppin State University, and Howard University are cultivating a regional network of scholars, who are committed to diversity and inclusion in the humanities. Over the next four years, a variety of HT Labs will introduce faculty and students to new media tools and methods for community-engaged humanities teaching and learning experiences. During this HT Lab, faculty will learn about using activities such as crowdsourced transcription projects in the classroom and will be provided with a list of resources.

Schedule of events

12 p.m. — Reading of Frederick Douglass speech from the 1876 unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument in Washington, D.C., and distribution of birthday cake in Library Rotunda.

12:40 p.m. — Introductions, history of Colored Conventions, Freedmen’s Bureau, and Frederick Douglass in Room 259.

12:50 p.m. — Transcribe-a-thon (instructions provided) in Room 259.

Please note that space for the Transcribe-a-thon is limited. To register for the event, please visit

Laptops will be provided; however, personal laptops will be permitted. If you will use your own laptop, please sign up on the Smithsonian Transcription Center

Please contact Courtney Hobson, Dresher Center Coordinator, with any questions.

The Freedmen Bureau’s Transcription Project is presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian Transcription Center, and the Colored Conventions Project.

At UMBC, the campus event is sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, the Department of History, and the Department of Africana Studies.

Image: Collection of New York Historical Society, public domain, Wikimedia commons


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