Scripto brings the power of MediaWiki to your Omeka sites. Designed to allow members of the public to transcribe a range of different kinds of files, Scripto will increase your content’s findability while building your user community through active engagement.

Scripto for Omeka Classic

Download User Manual

Scripto for Omeka S

Download User Manual


Scripto opens up the possibilities of community-sourced transcription, translation, or description for digital humanities projects in universities, libraries, archives, and museums. With easy-to-implement extensions for the Omeka Classic and Omeka S, Scripto allows administrators for any project to now enlist a community of enthusiasts to participate in this aspect of cultural heritage work.

What is Scripto?

Scripto is an open-source tool that permits registered users to view digital files and transcribe them with an easy-to-use toolbar, rendering that text searchable. The tool includes a versioning history and editorial controls to make public contributions more manageable, and supports the transcription of a wide range of file types (both images and documents).

There are two versions of Scripto, each of which works with a different version of Omeka. Scripto for Omeka Classic creates a single transcription project for the content of your Omeka Classic site. Scripto for Omeka S enables the creation of multiple projects built from shared items in your Omeka S installation.

Project History

Developed at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, the original Scripto project was supported by a Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant from the the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the National Archives and Records Administration’s National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Scripto for Omeka S was made possible by a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2017.


Scripto for Omeka Classic

Instructions for installing and implementing Scripto for Omeka Classic can be found in the Omeka Classic user manual.

If you have further questions, please post in the Omeka Classic plugins category in the Omeka forum.

To report a bug with Scripto, please file an issue on GitHub.

Scripto for Omeka S

Instructions for installing and implementing Scripto for Omeka S can be found in the Omeka S user manual, in the modules section.

If you have further questions, please post in the Omeka S modules category in the Omeka forum.

To report a bug or serious problem, please file an issue on GitHub.

Getting Started With Scripto

For ideas on how to guide transcribers when using Scripto, explore the transcribers’ guides at the Papers of the War Department. You might also look at other sites using Scripto; to find them, search the Omeka Classic and Omeka S site directories for “Scripto”.

Sample Transcription Guidelines

Each Scripto project requires guidelines or a style manual specific to the kinds of materials in the database. Your style manual takes into account the historic era of the materials, language and speech mannerisms, quality of the raw materials, whether wiki markup is needed to reproduce original formatting, and the desired outcome of the project. For example, should transcriptions maintains spelling and speech exactly as represented in the materials or is the focus on content and substance alone, regardless of stylistic idiosyncrasies? How will written transcriptions represent non-standard speech patterns or accents?

The following sample is presented as broad guidelines, as suggestions guiding your development of project-relevant style manuals. If the kinds of materials you are working with are varied, you may want to consider separate directions for text, audio, and multimedia items.

Transcription Guidelines


  • Transcribe the document as it appears in the window. What you type gets transferred to the main document record as transcription, so don’t add anything like a transcriber’s signature or notes (see below in Navigation for what to do about notes).
  • Only transcribe the document in the record you are working from. Some documents are part of letter books, so you may see many pages or many letters per page. You only need to transcribe the letter whose date, sender, receiver, and content matches the information on the main document page.
  • Record any marginalia or notes written on the document, including postal notations and administrative notes.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • If you can reproduce a symbol using your keyboard, do so. Otherwise make a note describing the symbol in [brackets].


  • Superscripts should be noted by using the HTML , e.g., May 19th, 1793.
  • Highlight the text and use the buttons in the toolbar at the top of the editing window to indicate strikethroughs or underlines exactly as in the original.
  • For more advanced formatting options see this list of HTML formatting codes.
  • Do not use the tab button; it causes formatting problems. To indicate a paragraph, user two hard returns to leave a line between the paragraphs in the editing window.
  • Note any illustrations or charts in [brackets], even though you cannot actually reproduce them.


  • Use the toolbar buttons in the media viewer to examine documents more closely by zooming and rotating. You may also pan around the document using your cursor.
  • If you have additional information about the document or wish to explain any of your transcription decisions, use the Notes section to record your notes.



Christopher Hamner Principal Investigator

Jim Safley Lead Developer

Kim Nguyen Web Designer

Megan Brett Project Manager

Sharon Leon Director of Omeka


Alyssa Fahringer Project Manager (2017-2019)

James Halabuk Project Manager (2010-2013)

Jessica Dautrive Project Manager (2019)

Ken Albers Web Designer (2010-2013)

Lee Ann Ghajar Contributing Editor (2010-2013)

Sheila Brennan Principal Investigator (2016-2018)