Transcription Tips

  • Save your work frequently.

    Your edits are not logged until saved. Navigating away from the transcription page may result in your work being lost.

  • Don’t correct spelling mistakes.

    Please try to be true to the document and type what you see. Don’t correct spelling or mistakes you see in the document.

  • Transcribe in a way that makes sense for the document.

    If it works for the document, use a left to right, up to down approach. Depending on the document, you may find another approach works better.

  • Don’t worry about formatting.

    Because the transcription field does not contain any formatting tools, you won’t be able to format for alignment, font, etc.

  • Use “comments” to discuss the page.

    Use the “comments” tab to discuss the page you are working on, including any transcription difficulties.

  • Indicate if you can’t make out the word.

    If you can’t make out a word use “[illegible].” If you come across “[illegible]” in a transcription, please check to see if you can transcribe the word.

  • Make notations when appropriate.

    Use may use brackets [ ] if you’re making a notation about the document that is not included in the written or typed text of the document.

  • Indicate non-textual elements.

    You may use brackets [ ] to describe an aspect of the document you see, but not able to transcribe. For example: “….[three canceled George Washington five cent stamps]”

  • Describe markings, stamps and seals.

    Please transcribe the words contained in markings and seals and then describe the marking in a notation. For example: “…..Dwight D Eisenhower Library [Stamp]”

  • Transcribe simple forms.

    Please try to transcribe all elements of the document, including typewritten text that may appear in a table, form, etc. Do your best without worrying about formatting the transcription.