Trustees Records, Vol. 7, 1886 (page 256)



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Three-tiered Process

  1. Transcribers: The first group of volunteers who type out what they see on the page
  2. Editors: A new volunteer compairs the work of the transcriber for the original and looks for typos and makes sure all formating is properly coded
  3. Staff Review A member of the Transcribing Mount Auburn Staff reviews the edited transcription and adds subject links

Type the information that is on the page as best as you can. Include both printed and written words in a logical way that mirrors the original document. The goal is to create a readable and faithful typed version of the original document.

Save frequently! Every time you save, a new version is added to the page's history. You can see previous edits in the Versions tab.

Use Page Notes at the bottom of the screen to ask questions or highlight interesting information. You can even include additional information that you think will be helpful for other transcribers or future researchers.

Share your questions, comments, and discoveries with us at

Transcribing Conventions

Major Guidelines
  • Capitalization and Punctuation: Keep original capitalizations and punctuation; do not add punctuation.
  • Illegible text: Indicate uncertain text in single square brackets with a question mark: [Bigelow?]. If the text is illegible put [?].
  • Indentations and Centering Text: Do not worry about capturing indentations or centering text.
  • Needs Review: When you finish transcribing a page make sure that the needs review box is checked so that other volunteers know the page needs a review by an editor. Only a second volunteer should uncheck the needs review box after completing the editing process and adding all formating code
  • Paragraphs: Hit return twice to indicate a new paragraph.
  • Spelling: Use original spelling. Note that a 19th-century ‘s’ can often look like an ‘f’ and should be written as an ‘s’.

These buttons work by inserting the code for you. You can use them before typing by clicking the butten and then typing the text inside the code or you can select the text you want formated and click the button to apply the code.
  • date transcribe the exact way the date is written in the document. When you see a complete date with month, day and year, click the date button. Clicking the button creates a field for you to insert a standardized date format which is YYYY-MM-DD. This formatted date will be searchable in the future. It will look like this typed out: <date when="1868-01-29">Jan.y 29/’68</date>
  • del use to indicate deleted, crossed-out, or ereased text
  • sub use for words or letter bellow the main line
  • sup use for text or letters above the main line. Use superscripts when needed to make historical abbreviations clear such as Honble for honorable
  • u use for underlined text

Text Formating
  • Deleted Text: Use <del> text </del> or the del button for crossed-out, deleted, or ereased text
  • Insterted Text Below: Use ^ <sub> text </sub> or the sub button
  • Inserted Text Above: Use ^ <sup> text </sup> or the sup button.
  • Underlines: Use <u> text </u> or the u button
  • Bolded Text: Use <b> text </b>
  • Italics: Use <i> text </i> . Italics should be used to indicate handwritten text in a typed document

Other Guidelines
  • Dates: If the year in a date is abbreviated please write out the date exactly as it appears in the original and add the missing part of the date in brackets where it would naturally appear so for example Sept. 24 [188]8
  • Ditto Marks: Transcribe the " or do as seen in the original and add the repeated text in []
  • Images for images and diagrams use [Image: short description of image] and use the same format for letter head and for office stamps
  • Ledger Headings in a Margin: Bold the phrase by placing three = symbols before and after e.g. === Committee on Garden === in a separate paragraph ahead of the paragraph it describes.
  • Letterhead: Indicate a letterhead with [Letterhead: short description of letterhead and/or text of letterhead]
  • Line Breaks: Hit return once after each line ends. If a word is split onto two lines in the original preserve this line break.
  • Multiple Letters on One Page: In cases where one page has multiple letters hit return three times to indicate new letter. Use this no matter the orientation between the letters.
  • Page Numbers: If the document has a page number on it, transcribe the page number as its own paragraph
  • Stamps and Seals: Transcribe stamps [Stamp: text and/or short descritpion of imagery] and seals [Seal: text and/or short descritpion of imagery]
  • Tables: To create a table use | to separate each column and a return to make a new row. To leave black cells, insert a space between the | .