William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) was an artist and photographer that explored much of the west and worked on many geological surveys. He was one of the first photographers to publish photographs for Yellowstone and Mesa Verde. The William Henry Jackson collection held by History Colorado contains thousands of the photographer's original photographs, ranging from his early work on the Hayden Expeditions in the 1870s through his career in publishing in the early 1900s. In addition to his original photographs, Jackson's own records from his time at Detroit Publishing Company are also held in the collection. These ledgers provide crucial information about many of the photographs, such as the date taken, brief additional notes, and whether they were reproduced for distribution. Transcribing Jackson's ledgers will greatly increase the accessibility of his records for research use, and provide valuable information behind his iconic and prolific photographs.
(**Caution. The material in these ledgers may include graphic imagery and historically offensive language.**)
These ledgers were created and compiled by Sam Howe, a 19th-century Colorado lawman. In an attempt to apply organization, he began scouring local newspapers, meticulously cutting out all crime-related articles, and pasting them into large scrapbooks with each article given a unique, identifying stamp number. Howe kept alphabetized lists of names and crimes as well as their corresponding article stamp. In addition to these article books and indexes, Howe kept a “murder book” in which he organized photographs, newspaper clippings, and information regarding murder cases in the Denver area. This collection of ledgers was used extensively not only by the Denver police, but out-of-state law enforcement as well.
This material creates national research opportunities that could reveal new findings about the ways law enforcement responded to crimes over time; the effect of societal change on laws and the justice system; the role of newspaper sensationalism on criminal trials; public perceptions of crimes and criminals; and the impact of economic change, social conditions, and immigration trends in relation to crime. With your help transcribing them, we can preserve this legacy and allow easily searchable access to this collection. Join our Digital Volunteer Network and help us transcribe scrapbooks created by Denver's first detective!
- How do I get started?
1. Click on the “Register” tab to create an account using the format "Firstname-Lastname" (if you’d prefer to volunteer anonymously you can skip this step). *Signing in allows you to participate in discussions and allows us to give you credit for your work. To track your volunteer hours please fill out this form for access to our volunteer portal.
2. Sign-In. If you already have an account, sign in with the username and password you created.
3. Be sure to read the Tutorial and the Field Guide first because it will help you get started.
4. Click on the “Get Started” button to start volunteering!
- Do I have to register to help?
No, registration is not required but does help us to thank you and give you credit for your work. If you do not want to register, you can simply skip to the “get started” button.
- What will happen to the transcriptions?
History Colorado staff will import the project information into the museum collections database (h-co.org/collections) and it becomes searchable.
- Who should I contact for more information?
For information about volunteering at any one of our statewide History Colorado sites contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about donating items and the collection contact email@example.com.
- Why do these documents need to be transcribed?
Modern technology, in particular Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is the ability to convert images or scans into text, is not able to recognize older text or handwriting because the handwriting is unpredictable and not uniform or the text is faded or of poor quality. In order to be able to search the content of the documents, the handwriting needs to be transcribed.