2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2019 3:05 PM by Lauren Algee

    How to transcribe a word you can't see in an image


      I'm reviewing an image in the Walt Whitman collection of several newspaper clippings layered on top of each other.


      One clipping obscures the print of the one below it in a way that whole or partial words can't be seen but you know from the width of the lines above there must be more there. When transcribing do we use the [?] to indicate we know there's a word there? Or do we not type anything at all which would make an audio read of the sentence incorrect.


      How do the braces translate when the published item is read?

        • Re: How to transcribe a word you can't see in an image
          LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

          Hi @Mary Barr,


          In this case, I suggest using brackets to indicate that we know a word is there, but it is illegible/damaged.


          I am not certain if brackets look any different when the transcription is uploaded to the digital collection on the Library's website, but will pass your questions along to our digital team.


          Thank you for your work with By the People!



          Reference Staff

          Manuscript Division

          Library of Congress

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: How to transcribe a word you can't see in an image
            Lauren Algee Tracker

            Hi Mary! Regarding screenreader interpretation of transcriptions, we have been working on testing use cases of finding the transcriptions in loc.gov using a screen reader, but have not yet delved into the screenreader experience of the transcriptions themselves. We have  found that when there is a transcription, whether from By the People or another source, it greatly improves the accessibility of that item on loc.gov. I did a little ad hoc testing on this page in response to your question using a screenreader built into my browser and found that it generally skipped brackets, though it read the asterik in cases where a volunteer had put [* *] around a word. However, that may not be true across every screenreader.  The By the People team can share more as we continue to research this issue!  Thanks for asking!

            1 person found this helpful