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Tips for Transcription

The list below includes sample directions for testing Scripto with the variety of files on this site.

To begin transcribing an item, click on the name of the file at the bottom of the page. The file will open in a new window. Click edit to open the transcription box and start your test drive!

  • 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. Note that spelling can be widely variable, even among documents written by the same person!

  • Suppose you cannot read a word or a phrase? The place the term “undecipherable” in [brackets].

  • Preserve punctuation as it is in the document, even if it's incorrect!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Record any marginalia or notes written on the document, including postal notations and administrative notes.

  • 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.