CHARLOTTESVILLE — For the second year in a row, students, activists and scholars gathered across Charlottesville to transcribe the personal papers and speeches of the late civil rights legend and University of Virginia professor Julian Bond.
Bond co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960, served in Georgia’s legislature from 1967 to 1986, co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and was a chairman of the NAACP. He became a UVA professor in 1992 and taught for two decades. He died on Aug. 15, 2015.
Throughout that career, Bond wrote letters and papers and gave hundreds of speeches — 7,797 pages’ worth, according to an effort to digitize his work. But much of it is not easily searchable, leading to UVA’s effort to transcribe and archive the work.
“A lot of people think of Julian as an elder statesman, but to see him not just as a student activist or as a professor, but also as a politician in his 30s, really helps you see his process,” said Justin Reid, director of African American Programs at Virginia Humanities, who transcribed a campaign flyer from Bond’s brief run for president in 1976.
The crowdsourced transcribe-a-thon took place for several hours on Thursday at locations around Charlottesville; participants also could work from home.
Rachel Ann Vigour said she enjoyed working at the Jefferson School on one of Bond’s speeches, and that the collaborative effort brought home the collective impact of Bond’s legacy.
“It is a community effort,” she said.
“It made me really feel like a citizen of this city,” she added.