Below are general guidelines for transcribing documents from the archive:
- Use the zoom buttons to examine documents more closely. You may also pan around the document.
- Make sure you preserve any dates contained in a document.
- Preserve the spelling of the document, even if words are misspelled.
- Spelling can be widely variable, even among documents written by the same person.
- If you cannot make out a word, include “undecipherable” in [brackets].
- Preserve punctuation of the document, even if they seem wrong to you.
- Represent typographical conventions as much as possible. Capitalization, underlining, and strikethroughs are all important pieces of documentary evidence.
- Highlight the text and use in the toolbar at the bottom of the editing window to indicate strikethroughs exactly as in the original.
- Superscripts should be noted by using .
- To indicate underlined text, you will need to use the <ins> html tag, e.g. <ins>cannon</ins> will display
- If you can reproduce a symbol using your keyboard, do so. Otherwise make a note describing the symbol in [brackets].
- To indicate a paragraph, user two hard returns to leave a line between the paragraphs in the editing window. Please do not use the TAB function; it creates formatting problems.
- Please do not use the TAB function. Likewise, please do not indent paragraphs.
- Record any marginalia or notes written on the document, including postal
notations and administrative notes.
- Note any illustrations or charts in [brackets], even though you cannot actually reproduce
- If the document indicates it is a draft, make sure to note this. Occasionally, you may run into both a draft and a final copy of a document. These are both important. Additionally, include notation in [brackets] of “Private” “Confidential” or “Copy”
documents made by the author.
- Save your work. You may partially transcribe a document and come back to it
later if you wish.
- If you have additional information about the document or wish to explain any of your transcription decisions, use the "Discuss this Page" tab to record your notes.
- Still confused or unsure? Leave a note for the editors in the Discuss this Page window for the document you are transcribing.