10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2019 11:36 AM by suzanne piecuch

    Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions

    Melissa Himes Adventurer

      I have noticed several pages where a signature is placed within square brackets with asterisks to identity it as marginalia.  In this example, inserted cursive is also being handled as marginalia.  My understanding of marginalia is that it is different than an insertion and also is not a signature.  I have seen formatting of signatures on other crowd sourcing sites indicated as  [signature: L.B.R. Briggs] or [signature] L.B.R. Briggs.  How does LOC wish signatures and insertions in the running text to be handled?  Thanks. 

      https://crowd.loc.gov/campaigns/mary-church-terrell-advocate-for-african-americans-and-women/letters-between-friends-all…


      Of course no one

      knows how much of the seed will bear fruit; but I am truly

      grateful to you for coming.[*I thought the quality of the

      speech remarkably high.*] Sincerely yours,

      [*L.B.R. Briggs*]

       




        • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
          Victoria Van Hyning Scout

          Hi Melissa,

           

          Thank you for raising this question. Signatures should not be treated as marginalia or marked out in any special way. They should just be transcribed in the order they appear on the page and correspond with the line breaks of the original document.

           

          A regular insertion that might be marked in the original with little carrot marks ^ should just be transcribed in the order it would make sense to read the text.

           

          We've recently updated the transcription and review instructions which directly address the insertions question, but not signatures. I'll see if I can squeeze information about signatures into the instructions.

           

          Visit the Help Center for more information: https://crowd.loc.gov/help-center/ 

           

          -Victoria, community manager

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
            Henry Rosenberg Adventurer

            I do not use brackets on signatures. My understanding is that the moderators want the information transcribed. They do not want notations like,signature, before a signature. Your page looked correct to me as far as how signatures should be transcribed. Marginalia is just that, items in the margins, in my opinion. BTW, I did not approve your page but I can if you want. Also, if you would like, let me know what you have been working on so I can review your work. 

             

            Best,

            Henry

              • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                Melissa Himes Adventurer

                Henry, the original text with the marginalia is what I copied and pasted in my question.  I corrected the page after Victoria's post assuring me that I was correct on how insertions and signatures should be handled.   I hope that LOC will be able to add an instruction about signatures.   Although, in my 5 years of doing this work, I know it is difficult to get people to comply with instructions.  There are a lot pages in these collections where it is obvious that the transcribers have not read the instructions. 

                Please go ahead and approve that page as I was the last transcriber making corrections.   

                Thanks,
                Melissa



                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                    Henry Rosenberg Adventurer

                    Hi Melissa- I have been doing this for 6 months so I apologize if I sounded patronizing. That was not my intention. I have also been disapppointed when reviewing to see that people have not followed the page format. I end up editing a page where I am basically lining up the lines in the transcription with the original. A waste of time. Do you have documents you would like me to review? I an working in letters to friends and allies and have previously worked on diaries,address book ,etc.

                     

                    Thanks.

                    Henry

                      • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                        Melissa Himes Adventurer

                        Thanks, Henry.  I don't have anything that needs a special review right now.  I've noticed that some of you have been tag-teaming to ensure that your transcriptions are correct on publication.  It is a good idea, especially on very difficult documents and I will certainly shout out when needed!   CROWD is the first site I've encountered that instructs us to remain true to the line format.  I like this because it makes reviewing a lot easier and it may allow those who do not know cursive to learn on their own.  I also like that they are not using excessive bracketed formatting.  It really helps with readability to have a simple, clean manuscript.  But, for those who haven't read the instructions, we will be correcting a lot of these.   It does seem like a waste of time.  When I get frustrated, I think of the future students, educators, and researchers who will be able to search for and read these precious documents.  My pet peeve is the use of [sic].  Since we are transcribing to be true to the original, why do folks add [sic]?  I've seen transcriptions on other sites whare [sic] evry [sic] other wrd [sic] is [sic] [sic].  LOL   Drives.me.crazy.  The CROWD instructions on how to handle misspellings are the best!  I wasn't sure about this site in the beginning, but, I'm becoming very fond of it in light of the enhanced instructions!

                        Happy reviewing!! 


                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                            Henry Rosenberg Adventurer

                            Great comments. I'm still not clear on misspellings. At first the instructions were to transcribe as written, then some of the moderators said it was okay to correct minor misspellings. How are you handling those? Thanks, Henry

                             

                            BTW, what we were tagteaming on was reviewing each other's documents to either edit or approve. Then if we edited we informed each other so we could re-review and hopefully get more documents approved.

                              • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                                Victoria Van Hyning Scout

                                Hi Henry,

                                 

                                You're right that our thinking about spelling has changed over time. This is the updated guidance from the "How-to-transcribe" pages:

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Preserve original spelling, punctuation, grammar, word order, and any page numbers or catalog letters or numbers. Do not paraphrase the original text, just type what you see. Some historical handwriting uses the "long s" form, which looks like a lowercase "f". Transcribe this as a lowercase "s". Some writers use an equals sign as a dash or to add emphasis. You can use an equals sign to represent this feature. Dashes and other punctuation can be a little unusual in the early twentieth century and earlier, so just make your best guess on whether something is an en dash, em dash, period or something else.

                                If a misspelling will impact the searchability of the document, use a tag to add the correct spelling. Only registered users can add tags and review documents, so create an account if you'd like to do either of those activities.

                                • Example: An author wrote “Ace Blinckin” instead of “Abe Lincoln”. Transcribe Ace Blinckin, and tag “Abe Lincoln”.
                                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                                Victoria Van Hyning Scout

                                Glad you like the instructions Melissa. We were indeed trying to keep things simple and help people new to parsing handwriting to learn how to read cursive etc by being able to line the text up with the image based on line breaks. We did recently clarify the instructions on the "How-to-review" section in the Help Center, which actually says that if line breaks are the only thing that needs fixing and you really don't want to do them, you don't have to:

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Marginalia, Signatures, Insertions
                                  suzanne piecuch Adventurer

                                  Ha!

                                   

                                  GUILYT! [sic]

                                   

                                  One of my first questions to Crowd came after i had done some siccing, and I was appalled that I was guilty of such newbie-ism!

                                   

                                  I was SO relieved when they changed things so we could correct our own transcriptions. At that point I had too many documents behind me to spend much time looking for my gaffs, but I did find and correct a few of them, and was able to decipher a few of my bracketed questions as well. Win, win, of sorts.

                                   

                                  Not feeling sheepish any more, but I did back then!

                                   

                                  Suz.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful