Any user may start a transcription or translation. To begin, click on the document of your choice. You will be taken to a web page that allows you to view the individual document pages. Click on a document page labeled “not started.” The page will appear in a viewer. Use the tools in the upper left corner of the viewer to zoom in and out and move around the document page. Below the viewer is an editing box with two tabs: Transcribe and Translate. Click on the tab you wish to use, put your cursor into the editing box, and begin typing.
Similarly, any user can build upon another user’s work by adding to or editing an incomplete transcription or translation. Click on a document page labeled “incomplete” and follow the instructions above.
Please save your work frequently.
- Do not attempt to format the text. The program will not allow you to use italics, insert columns, indent text, and so forth. Special characters and letters with diacritics (such as ¿ and ÿ) can be inserted using your operating system’s character map (Windows) or character viewer (MacOS). Characters that are not available through your device’s operating system may be described in brackets, e.g., [small square with three dots above it].
- Type words exactly as they are presented, including capitalization, abbreviations, names, and dates. Do not correct misspelled words.
- Handwriting can be difficult to read. Look for similar words or letters in the document that may help you to decode the handwriting. If you cannot decipher a word, insert [illegible] or put your best guess in brackets, e.g., [bishop?].
- If a word has been crossed out, use [crossed out: …] with the word or words that are crossed out following the colon. For example, [crossed out: convent]. If you can’t read the crossed out words, insert phrases such as [crossed out word], [3 crossed out words], or [crossed out line].
- Include punctuation exactly as it is presented in the document, even if it is incorrect.
- When you see a sketch, diagram, or picture on the page, use [image: … ] with a description of the image following the colon. For example, [image: small sketch of an angel].
- You do not have to complete a transcription or translation that you start. Even if you complete only a line or two, it will help the next person who works on the document. Be sure to save your work.
- Please follow the transcription guidelines above, especially for words or elements of the document you cannot decipher or translate.
- Please translate the words literally. Do not modernize the language or make it idiomatic.
- For translating Latin, you may find the following link helpful: Cornell College’s tips for reading and translating Latin