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Douglass Day: Home

What is Douglass Day?

It is a collective day of love & action for Black history!

Douglass Day is an annual program that marks the birth of Frederick Douglass. Each year, we gather thousands of people to help create new & freely available resources for learning about Black history. In the past we have transcribed the Freedman's Bureau papers (2018) and the Colored Conventions (2022). We frequently focus on important Black women’s archives, such as Anna Julia Cooper (2020), Mary Church Terrell (2021), Mary Ann Shadd Cary (2023). This year, we will focus on the correspondence of Frederick Douglass himself! Learn more about the history of Douglass Day.

Douglass Day 2024

What's in store this year?

We are hosting a Douglass Day celebration on Wednesday, February 14, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will take place in person on the Ely Library mezzanine level. You are encouraged to pop in at any time during the three hours. This year, the celebration will feature a transcribe-a-thon of the correspondence of Frederick Douglass from the Library of Congress! The transcribe-a-thon is a crowdsourcing project focused on transcribing documents in a digital archive in order to make them widely available.

During the event, we will share a livestream of speakers and performers from noon to 12:30, 1 to 1:30, and 2:45 to 3:00. We will also be available to answer any questions you might have about transcribing documents on the By the People platform. We encourage participants to share their discoveries on social media using #DouglassDay.

You can also bring Douglass Day into your college classroom with these resources. The library has more supporting resources available and many can be found in our Frederick Douglass virtual display.

Also, anyone who likes to bake should feel welcome to participate in the Great Douglass Day Bakeoff.  Bake a birthday cake in honor of Frederick Douglass and post it on social media using #GreatDouglassDayBakeoff; judging will take place at 2:45 p.m.

And don't forget to include us in your social media posts as well!
Instagram: @wsu_elylibrary

The event is co-sponsored by the Ely Library, the History & Philosophy Department, and the English Department.

Sources & Resources

Below we offer some sources to learn more about Frederick Douglass: 

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