Welcome Back!

To our long-time community of transcribers: welcome back!

With the new look and feel of the site, we wanted to let those of you who have been with us for years know about some of the changes and new features of transcribing with the Papers of the War Department.

First of all, because of the move to a new transcription system, you will have to sign up for a new user account. You can use the same username as in the past, or create a completely new one if you like. 

When looking for documents to transcribe, you will see that the search options are very different. To search documents, you will need to click Search in the navigation menu or go to the Collections part of the site and click the link to “Advanced Search.” An easy way to do a quick keyword search is to only use the top options, setting the search so that “Any Property” “contains” the keyword you are trying to find. More information on how to use the new search is available in our Search guide.

Unlike the old Papers of the War Department, there is not a direct path from the documentary collection to the transcription project. If you find a document in the collection which you want to transcribe, copy the title of the document. After clicking on the Transcribe link, which takes you to the transcription project, you can search for the title in the search field on the upper right of the page. Bear in mind that the transcription project only has those documents which have not been transcribed but do have at least one page – you can browse just these documents in the untranscribed documents collection.

The look of the transcription interface has changed; you may want to read through the Guides we’ve written to get a sense of how things work. Exciting new features include the ability to not only zoom in and out but also rotate the image you’re transcribing, and you can toggle between top and bottom or side by side views for transcribing.

It’s now easy to create a watchlist of documents which interest you, and you can quickly view your contributions if you want to keep track of what you’ve worked on. One particularly handy feature is the ability to mark your transcription as “complete”, which brings it to the attention of the editors. Have questions on a document? Use the ‘notes’ feature to get in touch with the editors.

Thank you again for all of your hard work on the Papers of the War Department over the years. We hope you enjoy the new look and transcription system.