5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2019 9:19 AM by Beth Graham

    How to transcribe printed page numbers at bottom of documents


      I'm seeing different styles for marking up printed page numbers on documents and am wondering which is correct. Would it be "20887" or "[*20887*]" in the following example: https://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/letters-to-lincoln/1863-civil-war-emancipation-proclamation-and-gettysburg-address/mal2088700/mal2088700-1/


      To my mind, this doesn't count as marginalia. Thoughts? (I'm leaving it for now.)


      Thanks --


        • Re: How to transcribe printed page numbers at bottom of documents

          This came up in another thread.  The moderators decided that it was marginalia and should be marked up as such. 

          • Re: How to transcribe printed page numbers at bottom of documents

            Beth, your question brings up an issue that concerns me about this project.  Why wasn't this determined before the documents were posted for transcription?  Why, now that a decisions has been made, doesn't this show up in the "Help" section in Crowd, under "How to transcribe."


            I'm fixing these as a review, but I feel that many have gone through either having omitted these numbers or having been marked up incorrectly.


            It was determined that these numbers can be helpful to Library of Congress staff, so that's enough for me to see the importance of transcribing this information.

              • Re: How to transcribe printed page numbers at bottom of documents

                Hi Julianne,


                That's a fair question. There are a few reasons these and other things were either not determined or not explicitly spelled out in the instructions. I'll give these as a bulleted list, in no particular order:


                • In some cases things are not included in the instructions because they are an edge case and didn't come up in the examples of texts we used to work through the transcription and review style guide.
                • For the sake of not overwhelming new volunteers, we purposely decided to try to streamline the instructions
                • In this particular case, the instructions 'transcribe text in the order it appears' had been intended to include page numbers, but I can see how the absence of specific reference to such marks, and the difference in the way these are treated across various other crowdsourcing projects, could lead to confusion.
                • Some variety is to be expected. Even when we as individuals create rules for ourselves, for volunteers, or when a group of documentary editors create on guidelines, there are always unexpected things that come up. These create variety of interpretation.
                • We are looking to improve search, and the individual numbers will not provide meaningful search results in themselves.


                All that said, please do include page numbers as you transcribe. And I think we could also incorporate brief new guidance into the transcription instructions:


                "Transcribe text in the order it appears" could become "Transcribe text in the order it appears, and include page numbers."


                We can update this text during this "sprint cycle" or web development cycle. What do you think? You can suggest alternative language if you like. Lauren Algee and I will be working to make other updates to the instructions. You can track our progress on Github: https://github.com/LibraryOfCongress/concordia/issues/751

              • Re: How to transcribe printed page numbers at bottom of documents

                Hello Beth, Thanks for your question .


                As Lauren Algee mentioned recently these numbers are mounting numbers, rather than page numbers, so more of a curatorial mark. She writes:


                I also did not know the meaning of the numbers on the Lincoln pages, so I sent a quick message to our curator.  She reports that the stamps are called folio or mounting numbers, once used for identifying the collection's pages. These are not just on the Lincoln Papers but other older Library of Congress collections as well. They have generally been superseded by more modern methods of establishing intellectual control over a collection, but once in a while people still come to the Library seeking a document based on the stamped numbers. LOC Manuscript Division, can you supply any additional context about when the numbers were added and why?


                So for now, we do ask you to transcribe the numbers since we are transcribing for search and they are used by some researchers. Since these generally appear as marginalia we recommend putting them between brackets and stars, for example [*13738*]. (Re: would someone give this a final review...? )