5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2019 12:24 PM by Ethan Kent

    Read the title information before transcribing

    Julianne Mangin Adventurer

      While reviewing documents, I've noticed that some transcribers are having problems with the signatures on documents.  Regardless of how indecipherable the signature is, the metadata at the top of the page usually contains the names of the sender and recipient of the document.  Sometimes, it even has the name of the person being discussed.  This information can also be accessed by mousing over the rightmost live link in the "breadcrumb" navigation over the document window.  I hope I'm being helpful by pointing out that the information is available on the page if you need it.

        • Re: Read the title information before transcribing
          Lauren Algee Adventurer

          This is a great tip Julianne!  I click "view on loc.gov" for most items, but particularly when working in Letters to Lincoln. The verified name and date information available on the Library of Congress main website saves me a lot of time and difficult name deciphering!

           

          The By the People team was just talking yesterday about how to make the contextual information available at loc.gov more evident. We would love to hear more feedback about context to integrate into our next phase of development! What are your expectations and how can we meet them? Should the button be more descriptive?  Should we pull the title and other cataloged information from loc.gov into the transcription interface? 

           

          I also hope that volunteers are finding the additional historical and personal context available through the "Related Links" on the Campaign description pages. The timelines, biographical information, and more for each collection (also available at loc.gov through these links) can also help you interpret events, names, places, etc in documents. What could we do to make these links more useful?

           

          A lot of questions, I know!  But we are truly eager to see and hear about your experiences

            • Re: Read the title information before transcribing
              suzanne piecuch Adventurer

              "View on Loc.gov" has been a big help, for sure, as has been sleuthing, of which I do a lot. I've always had a fascination with names, so figuring those out is a big part of my fun and satisfaction.

               

              I am not sure how to address my particular "problem"--- It could very well be browser-related, but I'm wondering if something at your end could help.

               

              I like to work full screen with a large image area, and whenever I go to loc.gov to check something, I have to reset my page when i come back.

               

              So..... this could very well be a stupid question on my part, but could there be a way to make the full screen be a "full page" instead, without obliterating search tabs? Whenever I come back from a googlesearch, i have to reset the page, adjust the windows, scroll in and find my spot.... granted, not a huge deal, but a suggestion for sure!

               

              Thank you!

              Suz.

            • Re: Read the title information before transcribing
              Ethan Kent Wayfarer

              Hi to everyone who will read this message (including Julianne, Ms. Lauren Algee (Community Manager), and "Suz.".

               

              I'm posting to note 1 Letters to Lincoln document that not only wasn't nearly intended (by the writer) to come to Abraham Lincoln (it's a plea for aid from a young Confederate blockade runner from Louisiana stuck in Havana to a family friend (also from Louisiana) who was serving in Europe as a Confederate diplomat in Paris ; the letter was "Intercepted" on its way to or from another Confederate envoy in London) , but whose Library of Congress description actually got the "last"/family names of both the writer and the intending recipient not quite right -- which might confuse those reviewing my transcription work on it.

               

              The document is this one (written in French: the writer was of French/ (white) "Creole" ancestry; the intended recipient had been born in France) : https://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/letters-to-lincoln/1862-civil-war-death-of-willie-lincoln-drafts-of-emancipation-proclam… .

               

              The writer was Louis Placide Canonge, Jr. (born about 1840, I think -- based on 1 mention in a book I accessed through Google Books that briefly mentions him) -- son of a more-famous author/journalist of New Orleans (Louis Placide Canonge; 1822-1893; short biographical entry in an online Dictionary of Louisiana Biography here: https://www.lahistory.org/resources/dictionary-louisiana-biography/dictionary-louisiana-biography-c/ ; a little more about the father (noting that the father himself (as well as the son) went into "exile" during the Civil War (in the father's case, because the father's Confederate sympathies in his newspaper made him persona non grata to US Army occupiers of New Orleans here: https://www.lib.lsu.edu/sites/all/files/sc/exhibits/e-exhibits/creole/People/people.html#case11 ... ; unfortunately, the Library of Congress description (perhaps based on reading of young Canonge Jr.'s signature) has the family name as "Canarge". (I have placed Tags including the name "Canonge".)

               

              The recipient (said by the Library of Congress description to be a "P. A. Rust" (this probably also based on reading the name as written in Canonge Jr.'s letter) turns out to be Pierre Adolphe Rost (1797-1868; with an "o" in that family name) -- subject of the following English-language-Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Adolphe_Rost . (The letter alludes to the fact that Mr. Rost had served on the Supreme Court of Louisiana at times before the Civil War (the latest stint ending in 1854).) (I have Tagged Mr. Rost as "Judge Pierre Adolphe Rost".)

               

              I sincerely hope that other transcribers/reviewers will not rely on the document description to change the spellings of these 2 men's names to the way they are spelled in the description.

               

              ---------------

               

              (I'm not sure yet whether I will complete transcription of this letter and Submit the transcription for Review with a translation into English. (At the moment, the document is "In Progress".)

               

              (And I have left 1 name uncertainly-transcribed (including "?"s) ; an earlier Transcriber had it as Fernand "Morin", but it looks to me more like "Mouni" -- but I am unable to confirm the last name of the man who enabled young Canonge Jr. to go from Key West to Havana.) )

               

              --------------

              If anyone wishing to work with a French-language text works on this later, please don't change the transcriptions of the family names of the sender and recipient, as I'm confident that I found the correct spellings; I hope that the Library may revise the transcriptions of their names at some future point.

               

              Thanks for reading this.

               

              Sincerely,

               

              Ethan.

               

              PS: Since I posted the message above, I have come to be more dubious as to whether the writer of the document in question was -- in fact -- L. (or Louis) Placide Canonge, Jr. (son of the playwright, translator, and newspaperman (in French) in New Orleans Louis Placide Canonge (Sr.) who himself was compelled to leave New Orleans for much of the Civil War as he severely annoyed US military authorities occupying the city by his open sympathy for the Confederate cause and/or annoyance with the occupiers.

               

              The writer of the document tells his would-be recipient that his father was "Surintendant" (presumably intended to be a French-language counterpart for English "Superintendent") of the Public Schools of New Orleans (and it seems from published material about the Canonge family I accessed via Google Books that it was a brother of L. Placide Canonge who held that post) -- and the writer gives as his mother's maiden name a name which doesn't seem to match the name ("Halphen" according to a 1931 work called Old Families of Louisiana -- and at least 1 older source discussing the Canonge family) given for the maiden name of L. Placide Canonge (Sr.)'s wife -- the mother of a L. Placide Canonge Jr.

               

              This leaves me not knowing whether the writer of the document was actually L. Placide Canonge Jr., or someone claiming to be him, and giving (well) information that doesn't seem to match correct information about L. Placide Canonge Jr.'s parents (unless L. Placide Canonge Sr.'s brother also had a son named Louis Placide Canonge Jr.??).

               

              I won't say any more about this matter in this PS.

               

              Ethan.