The Christian Science Monitor

Wanted: Volunteers who like history ... and can read cursive

A war re-enactor hangs out by his tent in the Union camp during the Battle of Gettysburg reenactment on the 150th anniversary year of the event, on July 5, 2013, in Gettysburg, Penn. Documents from the Civil War are among those that volunteers today are being asked to transcribe to make them available online. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File

One of the hazards of transcribing historical documents is that you never know when you might suddenly find yourself in the middle of a battle. 

“I was typing these notes about what seemed like a routine day [on an aircraft carrier],” says Colleen Crook, a retired teacher. “But then the Japanese attacked … and there was a strafing incident and people died and it was very dramatic.” 

Ms. Crook, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, is a volunteer with the US National Archives. Programs like the one she’s part of can

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