Explore Historical Diaries, Learn Something New, and Win a Prize!

Submitted by Selim S. Kuru on

Ready to participate? Go here: http://www.svobodadiariesproject.org/

The Svoboda Diaries Project is an interdisciplinary digital humanities project dedicated to the preservation of a unique set of historical diaries. Joseph Svoboda, who traveled up and down the Tigris River as part of his work as a steamship purser for a British shipping company, kept detailed accounts of the persons he encountered, difficulties, and happenings around him. Today, the diaries survive a unique firsthand account of social, economic, and political life around the Tigris River from the mid- to late 19th century.

Each year, this project engages 20-25 students from different majors all over campus and sometimes outside of the university in preservation and research having to do with the diaries. This includes creating transcriptions based on digital images of the diaries and creating an interactive online experience via the project website: http://www.svobodadiariesproject.org/

Project interns are also engaged in research projects having to do with natural language processing, visualization, and geospatial mapping, which contribute to our knowledge of the economic, social, and political life of the region and time. The project also has a diverse set of collaborators and supporters all over the world.

This quarter, we are excited to announce a four-week online contest, Joseph and Friends: A Svoboda Scavenger Hunt:

  • Contest dates: April 19, 2021 to May 14, 2021.
  • Each week, there will be a new theme and set of questions posted on our website.
  • Each question will have a different theme: archeology, medicine, shipping and trade, etc.
  • By participating, you can enter a lottery to win a gift card!

Participating is simple! Here’s a few easy steps to follow:

  1. Each week, check out the new topic that will be posted on our website. You can also follow our project social media for the link to the weekly contest page.
  2. On the weekly contest page, you’ll be able to see the weekly question, as well as any relevant tasks.
  3. Read about the theme, complete the tasks, and then answer the weekly questions.
  4. Done! Look forward to next week’s question.

Each week, we will also post crowdsourced visualizations of everyone’s answers from the previous week! Make sure to visit and see what you contributed to.

You can also keep up with the project and the online contest by following us on Twitter @SvobodaDiaries, Instagram @svobodadiaries, or Facebook @svoboda.diaries

Ready to participate? Go here: http://www.svobodadiariesproject.org/