2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 2, 2020 10:24 PM by Darlene Marchina

    Best practices for transcribing Purple Heart Decoration records?

    Darlene Marchina Wayfarer

      I have been transcribing the Purple Heart Decoration records. It would be extremely helpful to have a sheet with best practices/guidance for these records. I have noticed that some transcribers add line spaces, others don't. Some transcribers type the Headers from the card: NAME, NUMBER, etc.  Others do not; they just type the information given. What is correct, or does it matter?

      I want to transcribe correctly as I am devoting much time to this project and would appreciate some feedback. It would seem fitting that all records would be transcribed the same way and in an efficient manner.

      Any helpful information is appreciated.

        • Re: Best practices for transcribing Purple Heart Decoration records?
          Meredith Doviak Adventurer

          Hi Darlene,


          Thank you for your question, and for your contributions as a citizen archivist.


          As far as best practices for transcribing award cards, we generally tell our transcribers not to worry too much about matching the exact format of the original document (this includes line or paragraph breaks or spacing). The most important thing is to type the words that you see in the document. For our purposes, the goal of transcription is to enhance searchability. Every word you transcribe helps improve search results for that document. So, whether or not the spacing matches exactly will still return a search for the words in the document. However, it can often help the next reader follow the flow of the document, so you can use your best judgement to see it will help make sense of the document. If you come across a word or a phrase that you can't quite decipher, you can indicate this by using brackets, like this: [illegible]. Brackets also work well if you'd like to make a notation about a feature you see in the record that is not a word. For example: [stamp in blue ink].


          Here's a good example of an award card transcription: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/138789712/1/public?contributionType=transcription


          I hope this is helpful to you. Thank you again for your work transcribing records.



          Community Manager, National Archives Catalog

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