Become a Virtual Volunteer!
The Museum has thousands of archival documents in its collections. We need your help transcribing these handwritten (and sometimes typewritten) materials so that the information held within them can be preserved, and better used by visitors, researchers, staff, and volunteers.
Your help is appreciated. The Museum is using a shared Google Docs folder to upload scanned archival material. Look for a piece you would like to transcribe, and its matching Word document (look for the title), to start transcribing. This way, everyone can see your progress (and your work will not be duplicated).
If you have any questions about this process, contact Leanne Hayden, Collections Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Transcribing
The Museum is thankful for the help of Historic New England, the University of Iowa’s Digital Library and the Smithsonian Transcription Center for help in assembling these tips.
- Type what you see. Transcribe grammar, punctuation, and spelling as they appear in the original document.
- Don’t worry about formatting. There is no need to indicate font style, underlined, or bold or italicized words.
- Transcribe all text. Please try to transcribe all elements of the document, including typewritten text that may appear in a table or a form, etc.
- Consider the context. If you’re having trouble with a word or passage, read “around” it and think about what a likely word would be, or look for other letters and spellings in the document that are similar.
- Indicate if you can’t decipher a word. If you are unsure of a word or phrase, please use [??], or your best guess followed by a question mark within brackets [Boston?], or [town?], or [name?].
- Brackets. Please don’t put anything in brackets unless there are brackets in the original or the text is unintelligible.
- Break between paragraphs or text blocks. Indicate a break between paragraphs or text blocks by typing the “Enter” key two times.
This button will open a new tab, showing the Museum’s Digital Transcription offerings.