The help documentation has:
"It is also our goal to preserve the original spelling, grammar, and punctuation of the documents, in order to honor the original creators' historical reality and stylistic choices."
And also for the case of text other than English:
"If you can transcribe the original language of a document, please do so. You can change your language input settings in your browser, and may need to use a foreign language keyboard or shortcuts for non-English characters."
Accented characters can and do occur in English say in the case of this page with:
"The bench frowns on coups de théâtre;"
So I would think we ought to do that as coups de théâtre and not in the unaccented form as coups de theatre.
But in looking at transcriptions I've been seeing the unaccented form instead.
Currently this page has chateau instead of château:
And I've seen that in other cases.
Search systems can be made to deal with that to a certain extent, so that if somebody puts in either the accented form or the unaccented form it will search for and return results for both.
But the transcription still wouldn't be as accurate a rendering of what was actually in the document, and there could still be search issues.
One idea would be to talk about that in the help documentation at:
Another idea would be make a slight modification for the Quick Tips:
"Transcribe original spelling, punctuation, word order, and any page numbers or catalog marks."
"Transcribe original spelling (including accented characters such as é and â), punctuation, word order, and any page numbers or catalog marks."
So then the issue can be that people are not sure how to do characters such as é and â.
But the help documentation can address that. Maybe there could be a link to the text "accented characters" in "(including accented characters such as é and â)" to further documentation.
I also just did a search for "accented" and "accented characters" on https://historyhub.history.gov/community/crowd-loc in Search Existing Posts and found these two threads on that topic: