MIA: Volunteer!

Volunteer Workshop

Transcribe text

The majority of the work we do is put new information online, and we'd love your help! The biggest requirement for this kind of work is self-motivation, once you find something you enjoy doing, it is up to you to keep doing it, and do it well! :) We hope you have this strength of character to get work done. If so, have a read of all the things that can be done:

1. Transcribing/Publishing either Marxist, Reference, or Historical information. This requires a scanner, OCR software (that converts scanned images into text), a cautious eye for catching OCR mistakes, and the book itself. Choose material that interests you! (if you are unsure about the copyright status of a work, read our copyrights page to find out). Not sure how to scan text? We have an outline of how to transcribe. After that, read about our suggested HTML formatting and other Hints for Volunteers

2. Translating texts into other languages. Many works that are legal for us to publish in their original language, were translated into different languages and copyrighted. Also, some languages have sporadic translations of Marxist material, and need works translated. Translation work is greatly appreciated to help spread Marxist ideas throughout the world.

3. Proof-reading for the archive is tremendously helpful. Proof-reading can work in two ways: you can focus on material already in the archive (which likely have mistakes in it), or, you can team up with someone doing scanning and help proof-read their text before it goes online. On the specifics of which books, or authors – that is really up to you. Pick something that is interesting for you, or, if you'd like, we can make some helpful suggestions on places to start. Let us know, and we'll help you get started! There are many ways to proofread, for example you open the html file in Word or Open Office, and use track changes or simply using bold can help identify the changes. Alternatively, just send us an email with the filename, paragraph beginning ... and XXXX should be YYYY, one line for each error.

4. Researching for the Encyclopedia of Marxism. There are many events in our history, much to research and explain about politics, economics, civil society, etc; many workers organizations, political parties, and so much more that we need to research, critically address and factually detail, for the benefit of workers around the world. See our Writing guidelines for the Encyclopedia


Convert Books to Ebook Format

Converting to HTML documents on marxists.org to PRC, ePub, mobi, ODT or pdf formats is an activity which can be done by part-time volunteers who have an interest in these formats. See eBook Production Guidelines for further information.


Print Books, DVDs, or Mirror for distribution

The vast majority of people in the world cannot access the Internet or electronic editions of this material. With these works digitized and entirely free, you are welcome and encouraged to distribute this material in whatever ways you choose for workers who don't have access. We have a couple of suggestions of what you can do, but distribute how you want, in what ways you want — all this material is protected by the Free Documentation License, so be sure to read the license so you know how you must keep this material free for all!

Setup your own print shop! The simplest but effective way of doing this is with a regular desktop printer. Print out acouple documents, then take them to a copy machine at your work place, school, or local library (use double sided prints if possible to save paper), and make duplicates. Print information of your choosing, and sell or give the material to bookstores, distribute them in your union hall or political organization, put the literature in your local libraries, schools, and/or carry it with you to the local picket line or protest.

We love to multiply our Marxist archive throughout cyberspace; we rest much easier knowing these works are thoroughly distributed in digital networks around the world. Mirroring (or just making a backup!) the entire site takes over 240 GB. If you are interested, feel free to copy away! We have rsync setup and openly accessible to all. If you need instructions on how to do this, we've got them! If you want to become an official mirror (listed on our mirrors page), contact the janitor and we'll put you up.


Send us Information!

Very few of us volunteers are academics — there is alot of information we don't have access to. If you see that we don't have certain material online, we'd be happy to have the book if you don't want to transcribe it yourself!

Even if a good book you have is under copyright, we may still be able to use it! For example, with a history book that has statistical data we could enter that information, or even a book with good insight into the subject can help our Encyclopedia writers, so let us know if you would like to send us information.

Email the Administrators of MIA what books you'd like to donate. We'll hook you up with the appropriate archive administrator who can give you their postal address (or if you'd like you can just send books directly to us at: M.I.A.; P.O. Box 1541; Pacifica, CA 94044; USA). The archive administrator will let you know what they'll be able to do with the material. In most cases we will not be able to return the book back to you, because we frequently rip off the binding in order to scan the book.

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Join MIA

So, do you want to become a MIA volunteer? Our sole requirements are work contributed to the project (an initial output of three contributions), and agreement with our charter and bylaws. If you'd like to administrate an archive, read the Administrators Guidelines. Read those over, and let us know!


Spread the word!

When you go to the library, put a slip of paper in a relevant work you read, pointing readers to where they can find Marxist works for free on the Internet. Put up a notice in a local library or bookstore, in your office or union hall, put up notices at a pub or bus station, pointing people to the site. To inform people about our site with an image from a selection of wonderful graphics, see our digital propaganda directory. We have received reports from all over the world of people who are introduced to marxists.org in precisely these ways — so help spread the word!


Contact the Marxists Internet Archive Admin Committee for further information