1 Reply Latest reply on May 6, 2019 2:52 PM by National Archives Catalog Branched to a new discussion.

    Transcribing typos


      I am transcribing WW1 Prisoner of War statements. They were typed on thin paper in 1919, then microfilmed in the early 1960s. Researchers do not have access to the originals. I found your guidelines very useful. There are many typos and using [  ] impedes the flow of the narrative - can I simply correct typos?

        • Re: Transcribing typos
          National Archives Catalog Scout

          Hi Jessie,


          Thank you for your question, and for your great work transcribing!


          The reason we ask citizen archivists to transcribe a document exactly as it is written, including misspellings, is to stay as true to the original document as possible, and preserve the archival context of the document.


          If a document contains many typos, and brackets will impede the flow of the narrative, you could consider adding the correct spelling as a tag on the document instead. For example, if the author writes about the "Battle of Verdone" you could consider adding "Verdun" as a tag, instead of added it in brackets in the transcription.


          This is a good strategy for proper nouns that are misspelled within a document, such as names, places, or key events. This will help ensure that they are searchable. 


          For misspellings that are not proper nouns, or words that are less likely to be used in a keyword search, you could add the correct spelling in brackets, or simply choose to not add the correct spelling at all. Do your best and use your best judgement as to what will help the next reader make sense of the document.


          Thank you again for your work as a citizen archivist.


          - Meredith

          Community Manager, National Archives Catalog

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