RCVS Vet History Transcription Project

[Please note: Due to the high number of responses to this call for volunteers, we are currently unable to accept any more people onto the project. We hope to expand the project in the future, so please keep an eye on this blog for further opportunities.]

The Vet History team have been quiet on this blog for a while, but have been very busy behind the scenes with cataloguing and digitisation. Now that we are all working from home, and temporarily physically separated from our beloved historical collections, expect to hear from us more often!

First of all – a call for volunteers!

If you are interested in improving your reading of nineteenth century handwriting (or making a start!) then we want to hear from you!

Last year we digitised a large volume of letters written in 1840 in support of a petition (or memorial) calling for reformation of the teaching and examination of students at the Royal Veterinary College in London. This huge wave of support from over 200 veterinary surgeons across the country paved the way for the formation of the RCVS, and their being granted a Royal Charter in 1844.

A screenshot of the digitised letters written in support of Memorial to Governors of the Royal Veterinary College [RCVS/1/2]

Although everyone can now freely access these digitised letters on the Vet History website – they would be even more accessible if they were individually transcribed. We would love our audience to get involved, and also satisfy anyone who is hungry for some historical documents or to gain new research skills whilst self-isolating!

Digitised letter from J Stewart of Glasgow, beside a transcription of the letter.

Volunteers will be assigned individual letters to transcribe, and be provided with guidance documents for how to set out transcriptions, and support with interpreting tricky handwriting.

Completed transcriptions will be added to the Vet History website, and transcribers will be credited (with permission).

Please contact us via archives@rcvsknowledge.org if you would like to take part.


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