Is there any way to identify which particular documents are un-transcribed?

I am new and maybe the answer is obvious.  Is there any way to identify which particular documents are un-transcribed?  If I go into a set of documents (could be 100s) , it seems that I have to click  through all of them, one by one, to find one to transcribe.  Thank you.

  • Thank you for your question.  There isn't a search in the Catalog that would produce records that are not transcribed.  However we do have strategies if you would like to find a page that needs transcription within our missions - there are always thousands of pages available. 

    From the Citizen Archivist Mission page, you can see a list of links on the left.  Resources is where you can find how to instructions and other tutorials.

    If you select Get Started Transcribing from the resources page, you will find step by step instructions with screenshots on how to find a page to transcribe.  We also recommend clicking on a mission and selecting a record that is several pages in.  You can also go to the end of the list of records in a mission and work backwards.  We find that most people start with the very first record in the list.  So skipping ahead will help you find a record that no one has contributed to yet.

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions.


    Community Manager, National Archives Catalog

  • Hi, Suzanne:

    Going page-by-page in a file that has hundreds, or thousands, of pages is incredibly time consuming! Not only that, but just getting the pages to load (on the right side - not download) of the transcription page is slow in this new catalog version. Adding to the difficulty of finding the pages which still need transcription, is that the pages will show as "available for transcription" until we actually open them to begin the transcription. Then we'll often find that the page has already been transcribed.  Again, a waste of time.

    Since the "new" catalog came out over four months ago, transcription has become so difficult that it's no longer enjoyable. I realize you've already informed your programmers of the many of the difficulties transcriptionists are encountering since the "new" version became available, is there any estimate as to when they might have some of these issued resolved?

  • Hello -

    It looks like you may be confusing the transcription status.  If it says Available, this means that someone has transcribed the page.  You will want to look for Not Transcribed to find pages that you can transcribe.

    Please let us know what specific fixes or enhancements that you are interested in and we will do our best to give you an estimate of when we expect them to be completed.


    Community Manager, National Archives Catalog

  • Yes, there were slight errors in Ms Rupp's question but the issue remains:  it is tedious to have page through dozens and dozens of documents to find one that needs transcription. It's a real disincentive.

    Would it be possible to add a key or flag to your records indicating that the document either needs transcription or that the transcription is available?

  • I came here to say the same thing pretty much, except I think the point is being missed here. It's not about the difference in the transcription pages, just the fact that every file seems to say Transcription Available, which has already been done. The point being is that I've spent all day reading and trying to find short cuts to filter out files that need to be transcribed or Not Started. I'm a new transcriber. I had an account in 2016 but never figure out. I've gone round and round the last 2 days with this page. So frustrated.

  • This is a good question and something that we can clarify.

    • Transcription Available - that particular page ALREADY has a transcription.
    • Transcription Not Started - that particular page DOES NOT have a transcription and you can contribute 

    This transcription notice is available at the top of every page and refers to that particular page, we do not have a notification of the transcription status for an entire record.

    Please visit Get Started Transcribing found on our Resources page for step by step instructions illustrating how to find a page that needs transcription.

    If you have been working on the new JFK mission, it has been very popular and many pages have been transcribed.  Please use the suggestions found in Get Started Transcribing to find a page to transcribe.


    Community Manager, National Archives Catalog

  • My query contained an error, too. I should have said Page instead of document. It's tedious to go page-by-psge through each document, many hundreds of pages long, to find a page  that's not been transcribed. Since the Archive is able to know that a page does or does not have a transcription available (that's displayed on each page) it would seem they would be able to provide a search able key for us to use.

  • Thank you, but I was trying to say that I already understood the two. I don't know how that was misinterpreted. I have already gone through the definitions of what the 2 mean. I have already gone through all the help techniques. I am asking about filtering out to find those pages. I spent a long time clicking through Availables just to find one lonely Not Started. I don't know how else to put it. I did skim the JFKs but I also tried putting the word Not Started in a search bar. At this point, I don't care the subject, just trying to filter out the ones I can do easier. I hope this clarifies my question. 

  • Thank you for your quick reply but I was trying very hard to say that is not the original question of the author in this thread nor what I was explaining. I've been through all the the help techniques before I came looking here. I do understand the the difference. That is what my previous post was saying. To clarify more, we simply want to be able to filter out the Not Started from the Available. I understand some files go fast. I really don't care the subject. I even tried to use the words Not Started in the search. It didn't filter out much. I just don't want to search for 30 minutes to an hour to find one Not Started. I have reading genealogy records for 10 plus years and I think I could help. I appreciate the opportunity. The Get Started help guide isn't enough. I'm sorry.

  • Unfortunately we do not yet have a filter to find records that have not been transcribed.  It is on our list of enhancements and we hope it will be something we can add soon.

    It is best to avoid the very popular missions, because contributions are constantly. To get you started, I can send you a few records or missions that have many records available for transcription to get you started,  Do you prefer very short pages (index cards), type written or cursive records?


    Community Manager, National Archives Catalog