To select a manuscript to transcribe, please use the options below.
In July 2018, we set a new challenge for our volunteers and it's still going strong!
Can you help us transcribe material that will be used in the production of Bentham's Collected Works over the next few years? Documents available to transcribe include writings on penal law, political reform and prison.
Find the latest update and instructions on the Transcription Challenge at the Transcribe Bentham blog
If you're a new volunteer, you might like to start off by tackling an easy page. Find some suggested pages in our Getting Started guidelines.
Most users enjoy transcribing fresh pages that have not yet been worked on.
You can cross reference these Untranscribed Manuscripts with the categories below.
Bentham wrote on an enormous range of subjects, ranging from religion to colonisation, from sexual morality to political economy. Here are a list of some of the topics contained in the manuscripts uploaded to the Transcription Desk.
Bentham lived from 1748 to 1832 and wrote for much of his life. We have categorised his writings into the below time periods.
Generally speaking, Bentham's handwriting deteriorated as he got older. Thus, the earliest manuscripts are the most easy to read; the middle period is moderate; while the later period is the most challenging (and therefore the most rewarding!) By clicking Easy, Moderate or Difficult below you will be directed to the corresponding chronological categories.
Some people prefer to work on a partially-transcribed manuscript, rather than starting one from scratch. If you do come across a transcript which has been nearly completed by another volunteer and aren't sure whether you should change anything, you can drop the volunteer a message about it. Click 'History' in the grey toolbar at the top of page to find the usernames of all the volunteers who have worked on that transcript.
This category refers to the reference system used by UCL Special Collections and The British Library, where Bentham's papers are held. Each box contains a variety of manuscripts from different time periods and written on a range of subjects.