- Transcribe the text as it is, including punctuation, misspellings, and abbreviations.
- Do not transcribe words that have been crossed out.
- You may correct a misspelled word by typing the correctly spelled word in brackets after the misspelling:
- If you aren’t sure of a word but want to take a guess, type your guess with square brackets and a question mark:
- If you have an idea about what the word might be but can’t make it out, indicate the type of word you think it is in brackets:
[town?] or [name?].
- If you can't make out a word at all, type
[illegible]. If you spot
[illegible] in an already started transcription, feel free to correct it if you know what the word is.
- Don’t worry about formatting (e.g. underline, italic, bold, spacing, alignment, etc.)
- Do not transcribe hyphens or spaces in words that occur at line breaks. Our goal is to provide text for searching.
- To view abbreviations that appear commonly in nineteenth-century correspondence, visit this page.
- Contact us with specific questions or issues.
Tips and Tricks
- Zoom in on an image by clicking Fullscreen at the top left of the document workspace, or clicking the + symbol at the bottom of the image. Once you’ve zoomed in, you can click, hold your mouse, and drag the image to see details in the letter.
- Toggle between views (side-by-side or over-and-under) with the Image at the left pull down menu on the upper left of the document workspace.
- Move between pages of a letter by clicking the left or right arrows at the top right of the document workspace.
- If you encounter a blank page, which you occasionally may, check Mark as blank.
- If your translation needs further review, you can check Needs Review.
- The progress bar next to each letter indicates its status. Depending on the number of pages, the bar may indicate a combination.
- White means a page has not been transcribed.
- Light green means a page has been transcribed, but not reviewed.
- Dark Green means a page has been transcribed and reviewed, and is ready to be added to our collection.