1 of 1 people found this helpful
Great question! I have seen documents done several ways depending on the transcriber. It seems that most transcribers utilize the [blank] or [ ] for missing information. I personally like the use of brackets to show the information that has been filled in on a form, although I have seen others use carets around the information.
Example: Defendant noted appeal to district court on [10-22-67]
Defendant noted appeal to district court on ^10-22-67^
I have often wondered which is correct or whether they are both correct.
I also wonder when we need to use [handwritten] or [manuscript]. When a person finds the image, they will see that what is handwritten. On the Transcription Tips for Benedict Arnold's Oath of Allegiance, there is a single instance when a formatting bracket is used, [handwritten] Swear [end handwritten], but on the other 3 instances of manuscript in the document there are no formatting brackets.
Looking forward to seeing the moderator's answer to the questions!
2 of 2 people found this helpful
At the National Archives, transcription helps increase searchability, so our focus is on the text rather than the formatting. Typically information placed in brackets [ ] indicates that you are giving information not found in the record itself such as [illegible]. So we recommend not placing the information from these fields in brackets.
We suggest the following:
1. If you wish, at the top of the transcription, add a line such as this:
[This is a typed form with handwritten responses]
2. Transcribe everything you see and do not worry about indicating if parts are filled in fields, handwritten, etc.
3. If a field is blank, indicate this with [blank]
We're happy to answer any other questions you may have. Thank you for your work as Citizen Archivists!
Community Manager, National Archives Catalog