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Thank you for your question, and for your work as a Citizen Archivist! We are happy to have you on the team.
We suggest that our transcribers use brackets [ ] to describe additional details in the document or make a notation about something you see in the record that would be helpful to the next reader.
We generally tell our transcribers that the most important thing to keep in mind is that the transcription should help with word searchability and readability, and to not spend too much time trying to describe or match the exact format of the document. For our purposes, it is not necessary to add the closed bracket in your transcription e.g. [/handwritten], simply because it is not crucial to the searchability of the document.
Every word you transcribe is picked up by the Catalog's search engine, so our ultimate goal for transcription is to improve search results and to help the next user find that record when they are conducting a search. Use your best judgement to see if following a certain amount of formatting would help the next reader follow the flow and make sense of the document.
Regarding the [#&#] you saw in a transcription, could you please provide the link, or the name of the record where you saw this notation? We can look into this further.
Thank you again for your work as a Citizen Archivist!
Community Manager, National Archives Catalog