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British Library: In the Spotlight

The British Library is home to well over 200,000 playbills that "list entertainments at theatres, fairs, pleasure gardens, and other such venues," offering historians a glimpse into popular cultural events of yesteryear. This collection includes playbills dating from the 1730s to the 1950s and documents famous works alongside "[l]ess well-known and even forgotten plays." The British Library recently digitized their playbill collection and launched In the Spotlight, a crowdsourced effort to transcribe this collection. As of this write-up, the project is in search of volunteers to identify the titles on these playbills so that they can be transcribed. In the process, volunteers have the opportunity to explore historic playbills from throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the Spotlight utilizes LibCrowds, the British Library's software for such citizen historian projects. The project features an active discussion board for participants who want to discuss transcription questions and to chat with fellow transcribers.
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Date of Scout Publication 2018-07-06
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