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Fellow Volunteer here. I think you are on the right track. In some cases where there is a famous person referred to, I tag their full name even if they use initials or just a first or last name. I also write out the date as a tag where it is not included in the header of the folder. I also see times where people have so many tags, many of which are not helpful but I leave them. I look at tags as part of a search index. That's my simple take.
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Hi Gail! And welcome!
It's also worth reiterating that tags are an experimental feature. We don't yet have a place to add them to the original materials in loc.gov. If you have a limited amount of time to spend, transcription and review are the most crucial areas of activity. That said, tags can be a useful communication tool amongst volunteers and we hope to eventually have a search feature within the site.
If you haven't read through them yet, our tagging instructions give some broader examples:
- If you transcribe an important word in a document, such as somebody’s name, and the original author spelled the name incorrectly, you can add a tag of the correct name using the “Tag” button.
- Sometimes writers use nicknames or code words. If you know or can correctly identify the full name or subject using contextual information from the larger document or collection, please tag this information using the “Tag” button.
- Are you interested in documents mentioning cats? Use the “Tag” button to tag all pages that mention cats. Other examples include “Civil War”, “Cooking”, “Sports”. You can apply whatever tags you like.
- Keep tags as short as you can and use whole words instead of abbreviations. This will make it easier for other people to understand your tags and to reuse them on other pages.
We don't recommend tagging any words or dates already included in the document. As Henry notes above, it's useful to think of tags as additional search terms to those present in the text.