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Records of the Bay of Quinte

This aid was created when a large team of people were transcribing Quaker Meeting minute books in 2006. However the suggestions are still worthy and the process is much the same. Always keen to have help.

Transcribers are asked to do the following.
  • Receive a digital image (jpeg or pdf) of a page or pages from an old record by email from me.
  • View the image and transcribe the page using a word processor. 
  • There is a neat way to set up two screens so you can transcribe without flipping back and forth - see Instructions to Transcribers below for details.
  • Email the transcribed page back to me.
  • Receive more pages if desired.

Instructions to Transcribers
  • If you are using Windows 7 you can "flick" a screen right or left to get it to cover half the screen. In this way you can have the word processor and image side by side. I also use the "speeech recognition" that comes with Windows 7. Works well.
  • How to set up two screens in XP or older versions of Windows so you can transcribe without flipping back and forth.
    • Bring up your word processing program onto your screen. In Page Setup, set the top margin to zero. This puts the cursor right at the top of the page.
    • Make sure you have the reduced screen size (not full screen) by clicking on the middle button of the 3 buttons at the top right of the screen (left of the red X).
    • Now bring up your image program with your page to work on. Adjust the size and set the lines to be transcribed at the top of the screen. Also reduce it so that it is not full screen.
    • Your word processor will have disappeared to the lower bar. Click on it and it will come up over part of the image.
    • By moving the screens a bit, you can read the image of the old document and type the words that you are transcribing without flipping back and forth. With a little practice this gets smooth.
  • Transcribers are asked to accurately type each page as to spelling, punctuation, capitilization and new paragraph starts. However, for formatting purposes, please do not copy, that is truncate, sentences as they appear on the page. Let the sentences wrap normally, using your word processor, without inserting hard returns. We are trying to copy the text, not the precise format. 
  • Sometimes a word at the end of a line is split and continued on the next line with a dash to show the continuance. Ignore the dash and type the word without the dash.
  • Use ? at the end of a word to note that you aren't sure about the spelling as written.
  • Sometimes a caret "˄" is used to insert words in a sentence. Ignore the caret and just enter the words in the proper location.
  • Writing that is crossed out or struck out is typed (if you can read it) with a strikethrough line.
  • When there is a long list of names with no punctuation; separate each person's name with a double space if the intent is obvious.  ie "Lydia Dorland   Elizabeth Clapp  Rebecca Bowerman  Mary Haight  Mary White  Sarah Barker and Micha Vanhorn"
  • Sometimes ss is written like fs - Ross looks like Rofs. Type in Ross. This f like character is called a "long s". Go here for more on the subject.
  • Use square brackets if you wish to add a note: ie, [torn page, missing words]
  • Spelling is so variable that the use of [sic] is not needed.
  • Add [signed] to indicate the presence of a signature on the document.
  • Quaker dating uses numbers only. The month is indicated by "mo". You could see: 1 6mo 1808 or 6mo 1 1808 for the same date - day one of the sixth month in 1808.
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