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Transcription Conventions

  • General formatting and justification: Do not use return within the diary entries. Use a running style for lines. All text will be aligned to the left side of the page, even if a line is centered or indented in the original document. Do not indent new paragraphs or dates. In a long entry there might be more than one distinct paragraph. In that case, add an extra line between the paragraphs.
  • Entries: Add an extra line between entries; hit return twice before and after the date.
  • Headers: Doten usually listed words, phrases and names at the top of each of the original pages to indicate the important content of his entries on that page. In the preliminary transcript they are centered with extra spaces between the words/phrases. Add an extra line before and after these words or phrases and align them on the left. Where there are extra spaces between each word or phrase, replace them with two hyphens, preceded and followed with a space. The original page may begin in the middle of an entry, so the "keywords" will not usually be at the top of the typewritten page you are transcribing.
  • Typos: If there is an obvious typographical error (such as "hte" instead of "the", please correct it. We want to retain Doten's own spelling, so if you are unsure whether it is a typo or a misspelling in the original, do not correct it. Never correct the rendition of a personal or business name. Your transcription will be reviewed with the original handwritten diary, at which time further corrections will be made if appropriate. Jaffe used an * to indicate incorrect spelling.
  • Original transcriber's code: ( ) with superimposed hyphens meant the word was not decipherable or was partially decipherable. Replace with [illegible], or if a word or partial word is within the parentheses, use [the word?]. (( )) encloses a comment by the original transcriber. Do not include within the text, but if it is important, put it in the Notes below your transcription. Any questions you might have can also be written as notes.
  • Dashes: Doten's favorite punctuation is indicated in the preliminary transcript with a a hyphen preceded and followed with a space. Please use 2 hyphens preceded and followed with a space.
  • Degrees (temperature): A superscript circle has been handwritten next to some numbers to indicate degrees. (92ยบ). Please substitute [degrees] adjacent to the number -- ex: 92[degrees].
  • Erasures and strikethroughs: If erasures were indicated -- ex: ((sentence erased)), replace that information within brackets as [erasure]. Ignore strikethroughs or notes about crossed-out words. The erasures are important to note because we know that an unknown censor took an eraser to the diaries after Doten's death, and we may be able to use technology in the future to recapture the erased text.