2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2016 9:20 AM by Jean Andrews

    To CAPS or not to caps, that is the question.


      When transcribing a document that uses caps (often in a title or header) should the transcription match the caps or is there a better approach to follow? Does this even make a difference? Is the search engine case-sensitive?

        • Re: To CAPS or not to caps, that is the question.

          You want to stay as close as possible to the original. You might lose emphasis that was placed in the original content if you leave it out.


          I have tried searching something I know has been transcribed (State Hotel Restaurant Department Report, NAID 20737681) three different ways. 1) As it's written with a mix of caps and lowercase, 2) in all lower-case and 3) in all upper-case. In all three cases I got the exact same result. So it doesn't make a difference to our search engine if you're a caps-lock happy person, or just like the look of all lower-case in your search.

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          • Re: To CAPS or not to caps, that is the question.



            Good Question!


            A transcription, by definition, is an exact, faithful copy of the original document. So capitalization, punctuation, misspellings, cross throughs, grammar, etc. etc., must be rendered exactly as the original. If you are doing an abstract, or summary you may use some license to improve readability and flow of the document without changing the meaning. Usually ellipses separate portions of text in an abstract where segments are omitted.


            The meaning and intention of words, their capitalization, and what is implied was sometimes far different in the past than how they would be interpreted today. It is essential to remain faithful to the original or those meanings and implications can easily be lost.


            Having said the above, there is the option of using square brackets [ ] to note illegible words, or to insert a comma [,] to improve comprehension. Square brackets are the standard in genealogy, which follows Chicago Manual of Style standards. In other fields, perhaps different style standards prevail.


            Hope this is helpful.


            Jean Atkinson Andrews

            Certified Genealogist(R)

            3 people found this helpful