Voices Through Time

Welcome to our September newsletter.

We hope you’ve been enjoying transcribing this month.   

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Have you received our welcome email? Signed up on Zooniverse? See our welcome information below.

Key information  

Welcome information

Queries: Write your question in Talk 
Our team is part-time.
We will always get back to your question as soon as we can.  
All about the project

Volunteer hub for transcribers

Would you like to stay in touch?
Tell us your username here

Join our Transcribathon

We’re getting really excited to transcribe with you at our Transcribathon
this Friday 1 October.

On Friday we’ll be coming together to transcribe as many Foundling Hospital records as we possibly can.

We’ll have discussions as a community, share stories on Zoom and social media and dig deeper into the history of the Foundling Hospital. 

You can take part by transcribing with us from home, and join in whenever you like, for as long as you like. Do 10 minutes on your lunch break or dip in throughout the day.

In the afternoon we'll hold a session with Coram's Social Historian Carol Harris and Foundling Hospital Researcher Janette Bright.
The session will have a special focus on how children were admitted into the Foundling Hospital: the processes mothers went through and how these changed over time.
To learn more and register for free to join the event, just click on the link below. 

Share your experience by posting a photo of you or your deskspace as you transcribe online, using the hashtag #amtranscribing 
Follow us on social media for updates on the day:
Twitter  Facebook  #realstoriesofcare 
Join the Transcribathon on Friday

This month 

1,317 Talk comments 
4,457  pages transcribed  
241      people transcribing
1,486  records pages completed 

Each page is completed once it has been transcribed three separate times. It's then compiled together into a final transcription, to ensure best quality.

Come and see The Parlour exhibition

Our brand new exhibit, The Parlour: A Conversation Between Past & Present
is now available to view in London. 

Navigate through three centuries of the story of care, with stories from our Foundling Hospital archive and our recent work with care-leavers and young people.

Be transported to an admissions day at the Foundling Hospital in our Brownlow Room, where mothers would have to enter a lottery to find out whether their child would be admitted into the care of the Hospital.

Hear the stories of women petitioning for their child to be taken into the Foundling Hospital, including letters transcribed by our wonderful volunteers.

To visit the free exhibition, 
head to Coram’s campus (on the site of the old Foundling Hospital). 

The exhibition is open 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. 
Click here for the full address

Hilary smashes it out of the
(Hampton Court) park 

Last month we told you about our volunteer Hilary and her plans to run the Hampton Court Half Marathon in aid of Coram. 

We are delighted to tell you that on Sunday 19 September Hilary finished the race in a superb 2 hours 55 minutes

Molly and Jo from our Voices Through Time team cheered her on, along with dog Kiwi. The rain held off until the last mile and Hilary ran brilliantly, even with some difficulty in her leg. We met the original palace owner Henry VIII, saw lots of geese gandering over the grounds and nearly got lost in the maze too.

After the race Hilary went home for a well-deserved rest and we shared the photos of the race on social media

Hilary’s mother was a Foundling pupil and she is now a transcriber on the project.

To donate to Hilary’s fundraising page, click here

What’s in a name?

Why were children taken into the Foundling Hospital given a new name? How did the governors come up with names?

Learn more about the Hospital's naming practice and what our Archivist and Conservators found out about it from looking at the records.

Read all about it here

Update from our Archivist 

Transcribathon number two
Molly and I have been busy getting ready for the Transcribathon on Friday.

On the day we'll be releasing new batches of Petition Letters to be transcribed. We're also going to be working hard to finish the remainder of the Inspection Books. 93% of these have already been completed by you and we hope you'll help us move closer to completing the remaining 7%.

As well as transcribing, there'll be online sessions with opportunities to hear more about the Voices Through Time project, to meet and chat with other Volunteers, to learn about the history of the Foundling Hospital, and to ask questions about this history and the archive. 

We're looking forward to meeting some of you on the day, and hope you are able to help us uncover even more details and stories in the archive!

Jo Blyghton, Voices Through Time Project Archivist 

 Georgian life: a snapshot

Just one item from the Foundling Hospital can tell us so much about life at the time.

See what archive Conservator Wanda discovered about a mother and the businessman who helped her, all from a small business card found in the archive.

Read about her finding here

Stories from the Talk message board   

A heart labouring under affliction
This month a fascinating story has begun to emerge from a petition letter of 1786, all through brilliant volunteer teamwork. 

Frances Pye was a mother petitioning for her child to be taken into the Foundling Hospital. Volunteer @LornaCosgrave came across the first page of her letter to the Foundling committee, and it reads like a novel. Frances details her struggles, as she is at the end of her life and the father of the child is not around to support her.

A daughter named Mary
@ValThomas then came across another letter, written by someone who appears to be helping Frances with her case. This letter introduces Frances and her situation, and explains that she has a child aged 6 months old named Mary Pye. 

Following that, a further page from Frances’ letter was uncovered by @SueTall. On this page Frances is enquiring about the process to have her child admitted to the Foundling Hospital. This page shows her concern for her child’s welfare and her urge to get everything right in order to give the child the best possible chance of being taken into the Hospital. 

Seeking admission
Another piece of the puzzle emerged when @mobow found a different page of the letter written by the person helping Frances, who goes by the name of Bacon. This letter talks about reassuring Frances of the care that the child would receive in the Hospital and asks to receive further instruction -we expect from the Foundling Committee- of what do to support the case.

We have since had confirmation that Frances’ request went forward and her child was considered for placement in the Hospital. @mobow found the case listed in the ballot of 2 December 1786 (For more information about ballots and the admission process, see our article here). It lists a female child aged 6 months old, who was admitted for ballot on 8 November that year.

This week @mobow transcribed the end page of Frances’ letter, where she says her petition letter was dictated by her, “a heart labouring under affliction”.

Clever collaboration
We are blown away by this, not only because of Frances’ sad situation, but because of the story that’s been brought to life all from the detective work of transcribers, working together. A big thank you to everyone who has been working hard on this and on other stories to help us build up a picture of so many women’s lives. You can join in too! Read our September challenge below for more details. 

To see all the letters relating to Frances’ case, have a look at her Collection here.

To see the full discussion about the letter, click here.

September challenge

Help us find the rest of Frances’ story

This month we need your help to add a piece to a puzzle. The puzzle is the story of Frances Pye, who petitioned for her child to be taken into the Hospital in 1786.

Can you find another page of the letter she wrote to the Foundling Hospital?
Or maybe a page of the letter written by the person helping her?

Read what we’ve found so far in ‘Stories from the Talk board’ above. Then look out for Frances’ name as you transcribe.

Tell us what you find in our Talk board here

Founding: Found
New series!

Series Two of Foundling: Found is here! A podcast that investigates real stories of care, from the Foundling Hospital’s archive dating from 1739, right through to the present day.

In the first episode of the new series host Jules shares his own views on the care system and the care review. Listen to it here

Jonas Hanway and the Foundling Hospital's Parish Children

Join this interesting online talk from the Foundling Museum, on 12 October at 1pm

Jonas Hanway was formally elected as a governor of the London Foundling Hospital on 12 May 1756. Hanway was a traveller, philanthropist, prolific writer, and famous for being the first man in London to dare to carry an umbrella in public.

 Hanway envisaged the Foundling Hospital as a ‘clearing house for poor-law children’, and between the years 1767 and 1791 the Foundling Hospital received 822 children from parishes across London. This talk will discuss this cohort of children and the impact this initiative had on the Foundling Hospital.

To book your free ticket, click here

The Foundling Museum Talks
The Foundling Museum offers many interesting online talks. 
To watch more past events and see upcoming talks click here

Thank you 

It's great working together. Thank you for being a part of the project. 

Let's keep discovering the story of care together.  #RealStoriesOfCare

Molly, Jo and the Voices Through Time team

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