3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2021 2:06 PM by Laurie Nelson

    Should I Continue Adding This to Signature Line?

    Laurie Nelson Adventurer

      Because most of the signatures on documents I've been transcribing are illegible or almost illegible, I've been putting the following at the beginning of the signature line: "/s/" which, of course, stands for "signed". I was taught to do that many years ago to differentiate between actual signatures and typed names. But recently I realized that it might be wrong to do it for LOC transcriptions.


      Please tell me if it's OK to do this or not. Thanks.


      Laurie Nelson

        • Re: Should I Continue Adding This to Signature Line?
          Diane Estes Tracker

          No, that is not part of transcription standards here. We are asked not to insert any notes or make any corrections.  I often see these type of notes added ("header"; "logo"; "illegible text"; "first column"; etc) and delete these when I see them.


          The transcription standards are here - they do vary quite a bit from other standards elsewhere:



            • Re: Should I Continue Adding This to Signature Line?
              Diane Estes Tracker

              Note on illegible signatures.  I find the following techniques useful to interpret them - and these are almost always successful except for very obscure personages.


              • Often the signatory is listed in the title block. I am always surprised when people type the typewritten name correctly and then type the signature as something different.
              • If the signatory isn't listed in the title block then their office, title, or organization may be - and googling (for example) "US Assistant Secretary of War 1909" may bring up some good possibilities
              • If any part of the signature is legible then a partial name search (for example  -- *cort*) in the advanced search function of the theodorerooseveltcenter.org database can bring up exactly who this person may be - and sometimes even the document itself!  I often check a few different versions of what I think it can be here - A good tip to see if it is the same is to check handwriting style between documents.
              • If all else fails a general Google search of what I think the name may be with a date qualifier sometimes brings up the individual.
              • I have posted on History Hub some other useful databases that can help: a list of the Rough Riders; a list of TR's Tennis Cabinet; etc.


              Good luck!