Wed, 05/17/2023 - 1:30am Nicola Wilson

We are delighted to share that Helena Clarkson and MAPP's 'virtual volunteers' team has won this year's University of Reading Research Awards in the 'Openness in Research' category. 

Volunteers shed light on modernist publishing - Engagement and Impact (

Helena and Nicola did a little filming in MERL's lovely gardens for a short video explaining the project. Helena has also being gathering sound recordings from some of our fantastic volunteers to find out more about what they have got out of transcribing correspondence from the Hogarth Press archive for MAPP.

So in their own words:


“The archive holds some of the letters of Norman Leys who was a prominent critic of imperialism. While transcribing the letters he had written during the publication of his book Kenya, I got a very interesting perspective of his peculiar attention to detail and his persistence. Another interesting character is Aline Burch a typist for the Hogarth Press, she’s often referred to in many of the letters as AB and getting to fully put her name on these letters so she’s traceable to readers and researchers was rewarding, it felt like resurrecting someone out of the depths of history who played a particularly important part in preserving the history of the Hogarth Press”

  • Faris Al Ali - Volunteer

"I found the buddy system really helpful, and that’s helped make me feel part of a team and I’m achieving something".

  •  Anne Styles – volunteer

“It’s been really interesting just to find out more about The Hogarth Press and the Woolfs, and also it’s been really interesting to read some of the books whose files I’ve been working on”

  • Brian Richards – volunteer

“One thing that comes to mind at the moment is Leonard Woolf’s involvement with the Press, he was so centrally involved and knew so much about the business, I’ve got a really high appreciation of him now”.

  • Lawrence Jones - volunteer

"I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience of transcribing documents for the project. Most of all, the fact that it has been remote, meaning that I could transcribe at any time, has meant that I've felt really accommodated...This, along with the fact that I find the subject matter to be fascinating - especially being able to learn more about the inner workings of the Hogarth Press and its relationship with its clients and other businesses - has meant that I genuinely enjoyed the work, which actually didn't really feel like work at all. I really feel like I've been able to contribute to academia and, more specifically, the field of 20th-century literature, even if it has been in a small way”.

  • Saniya Mehmood - volunteer

“What I liked about doing the transcribing is the fact that - following a thread of the documents - I actually followed a story. I really quite liked to see that once these are up on the website that other people can understand that as well, its really quite an interesting way of reading through social history, effectively”

  • Derek Goodridge - volunteer


The virtual volunteers transcription project is coming to an end (due to funding) and we are excited about the collaborative work we've been able to do with a wider public audience through it. 



Image of volunteers and staff at a small garden party celebrating the first 100 transcriptions. Its shows people sitting by a table which has trays of biscuites on it