4 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2019 11:51 AM by LOC Manuscript Division

    Left-handed soldiers transcribed

    Sharon McKinley Adventurer

      Hi, folks;

        As always, I try to participate in every challenge, even if in only a small way. So I started on a left-hander's penmanship entry. How interesting to compare his 1964 experiences to Clara Barton's! But the really interesting bit is that after I did what I could (oh, yeah, accepting a page with an incorrect date, and editing too many of the pages....), I went on to the next letter, which h is a very neat, apparently right-handed transcription of that very letter! Why the heck would they do that? I'm nosing around a bit, and don't see any others like it, offhand. The transcriber fixed a bunch of errors and made at least one of his own (it's really Berryville, not Perryville). Fascinating. And too bad I didn't  notice this before I reviewed... Any explanations you can offer?


      The original:

        the transcription:


        • Re: Left-handed soldiers transcribed
          Lauren Algee Tracker

          Fascinating!  Community Managers have not seen this before within the collection so thank you for bringing it to our attention!


          I can't comment on the frequency or purpose behind it. Looping in our collection experts in the LOC Manuscript Division - any idea why this contest entry might have a transcription or if there are other examples of this practice?

          • Re: Left-handed soldiers transcribed
            LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

            Dear Sharon McKinley -

            There are a few right handed transcriptions within the Wm. Oland Bourne Papers.  The issue is addressed in the introduction to the digital edition, I've pasted the relevant paragraph below:
            Left-handed penmanship samples recopied in another hand, presumably by Bourne, can be found with some contest entries. In most cases a page of The City Record was used as a sort of folder, with identifying information written on what would have been the front of the folder. When a copy of The City Record was used to separate recopied penmanship samples, the front and back of The City Record page are presented first in this online presentation, followed by the recopied pages. Examples of this may be seen in the entries of William H. Thomas and Julius V. Wood. In some cases, like that of Seth Sutherland, the recopied pages are not housed in a City Record wrapper and simply follow other documents in the file.

            Sincerely yours,


            Reference Staff,

            Manuscript Reading Room


            Manuscript Division

            Library of Congress

            Washington, DC 20540-4680

            (202) 707-5387

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