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Date updated: 30/04/2024

Help to transcribe the history of children in care and the Foundling Hospital

Coram is the UK's oldest children's charity and was established in 1739 as The Foundling Hospital, London’s first home for babies whose mothers were unable to care for them. Its Foundling Hospital Archive is held at London Metropolitan Archives and reveals the details of the lives of the children in its care and the way in which the Hospital operated from the eighteenth century onwards. In 2019 Coram was awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for Voices Through Time: The Story of Care to digitise over 100,000 items from the archive and to make them accessible online.

The Voices Through Time team needs volunteers to transcribe these precious records to uncover the Story of Care from where it first began. The transcriptions will help safeguard the records for the future and offer new and exciting opportunities for people to discover more about the lives of children at the Foundling Hospital.

Volunteering opportunity

Commitment: 15 minutes + per week. For as long as you want to.
Equipment: Laptop/computer, internet connection.
What’s involved? Typing out words you see in historic letters and books. Giving feedback.

What is the project?

Using historic records to tell the story of children in care from when it first began. The project is called Voices Through Time: The Story of Care.

How can I help?

LMA’s partners in the Voices Through Time team at Coram are looking for volunteers to help with this brand new project. It involves transcribing handwriting from historic papers, letters and books, and then giving feedback, using a platform called Zooniverse.

These are part of an amazing collection of documents from the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity, established in 1739, now Coram charity. The archive, held at LMA, is an unbroken record of the charity from then until the present day.

How can I get involved?

If you think you’d like to get involved, or you’d like more information, you can sign up on the Coram Story website.

Sign up to the project