Deciphering Dickens: Online Transcribe-a-thon

Thursday 10 December 2020, 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm 

Online event, via Zoom

The V&A holds one of the most important authorial archives in the English-speaking world and yet it is largely unknown. Dickens left behind a remarkably complete record of his literary output, including handwritten drafts for most of the major novels; marked-up page proofs, working notes, and more. The Dickens archives present a unique resource for understanding the entire process of textual composition, production, reproduction, and dissemination. The only issue is, the manuscripts require deciphering. 

Join us in this online workshop in which we will take you through the deciphering process using our digital transcription software, From the Page. We will look at the manuscript of Little Dorrit in detail, attempting to untangle Dickens’s revisions in order to try to reveal his first thoughts, changes of mind, and innumerable refinements of expression. Workshop participants will have dedicated time to work on their transcriptions, as well as an opportunity to share discoveries at the end of the event. 

The transcribe-a-thon will take place over Zoom – you will be sent the meeting link once you have registered. Please sign up here if you would like to attend. The password to register is 2020V&ADickens. Please contact Emma Curry ( if you have any questions about the event. 

This post has been re-published by permission from the BAVS Postgraduates Blog. Please see the original post at