Volunteer Spotlight-A Beginning Transcriber

March 21st, 2013

Even though there are more than 1300 transcribers signed up to work on documents at the Papers of the War Department, each transcriber is an individual. Some have only ever worked on one document, while some have transcribed dozens. We have not done this in several months, so today we turn to a short interview with one of our newest transcribers, user ddunnett, to learn a little more about his background and experiences with the Scripto/PWD project. Please stay tuned over coming weeks as we feature other transcribers and their work.

PWD: Can you briefly describe your background with respect to history and transcribing?

DD: I have never transcribed before. I personally find other people’s handwriting interesting, and I thought it would be fun to take a look at historical handwriting to see if I could read it.

PWD: How did you hear about Scripto?

DD: Someone I follow on Twitter mentioned it, so I searched for Scripto and found the War Department.

PWD: Did you find the tool easy to use?

DD: Yes. I found the handwriting more challenging than I expected, but the tool worked fine.

PWD: Were you surprised by anything you found in the papers?

DD: I have only transcribed two documents, but I did not expect the handwriting to be so difficult. Some words were spelled wrong, and there were many crossouts and mistakes.


It is not too late for you–there are many more documents awaiting transcription. Take a moment to register (http://wardepartmentpapers.org/scripto/register.php) and choose a document to begin your adventure. You will be doing important work by adding to the historical record, and you never know what you will read!