FromThePage provides two configurable documentation areas per project. “Transcription Conventions” are displayed on the transcription page under the text input field. The “Help” is displayed as a tab in each work and on each page. Transcription conventions are intended to be short, with enough information to get a transcriber started. FromThePage automatically provides a “more help…” link at the bottom of the transcription conventions that links to the help tab. Both pages have short default instructions provided, but you will likely want to customize them for your project.
Here’s what you should cover in your transcription conventions:
- Line breaks and paragraph breaks.
Line Breaks:Hit enter once after each line ends. Two enters indicate a new paragraph. The times at the end of each entry should get their own paragraph, since the software does not support indentation in the transcriptions.
- What to do with spelling? Most projects instruct transcribers to keep the spelling as it’s written on the page. Examples:
Spelling:Use original spelling if possible.
Spelling: Transcribe people’s names exactly as they appear, including typos and abbreviations: Thpmas or Wm. For town and city names, however, type the correct name: Marengo instead of Maringo
- What to do with illegible text?
Illegible text: If characters in a word are difficult to read, make a guess and enclose the entire word in single square brackets: [Tomlinson]
- How & when to use the “needs review” checkbox.
- If you have text in a language with characters that most of your transcribers’ keyboards won’t support, providing those characters in the transcription conventions with instructions that your transcribers can copy and paste them.
- Link to your examples document, and comment on the choices you made in the comments.
Examples: Refer to <a href=”http:// “>these examples</a> for samples of transcriptions. See the Page Notes at the bottom of each page for explanations and tips.
- Are you using the subject linking (also known as indexing or annotating) feature of FromThePage?
“Autolink” will suggest subjects certain words could be linked to or you can use double braces to link subjects.
[[Jane Doe]]will link the text “Jane Doe” to the subject Jane Doe, while
[[Jane Doe|Jane]]will link the text “Jane” to the subject Jane Doe. We recommend that linking be left to an editor after the initial transcription is made.
The advanced mark-up article provides examples and instructions for special cases and more advanced transcription techniques. You should review those cases and pull the appropriate instructions into your project’s documentation.
Project Help Page
Here’s what you should put in your Project Help Page:
- Collection information & the purpose of the transcription project. How is the transcription going to be used?
- Types of material. If you have multiple categories or types of material in the collection, include a quick overview of each kind.
- Repeat and expand on your transcription conventions. Consider including examples.
- Some FromThePage help — how to find a page to transcribe, how to work with the transcription images (zoom, changing the layout of the transcription page), how to save, when to use the notes area, etc. You might want to include a link to our demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO2j1Xuasbc
- A contact email for questions.
- Link to your examples.
The Alabama Department of Archives and History published their help both in their project and as a downloadable pdf. It’s a good example to refer to.
- We recommend you create an “examples” work. I think the easiest way to do this is to download each of the pages, zip them up as Examples.zip, and then upload them in the “Start a Project” screen.
- Working through your examples is a great way to build your transcription conventions and help. Use the “comments” at the bottom of each page to note why you made certain decisions.
- While we think transcription conventions should be short — 20 lines at the most — it’s possible to do more than 20 lines. Here’s an example with a lot of html based formatting: https://fromthepage.com/
jbhoward/irish-dialect- archive-manuscript-collection/ seanchas-cuimhni-cinn-by-sean- o-dalaigh/transcribe/20905 We’ll reiterate that we think shorter is better “on the page” and longer content belongs in the help tab.
- Don’t be afraid to update your transcription conventions or help pages often. If one volunteer asks a question it is likely that another one will have the same question.
We’re happy to review both your help and transcription conventions, and help if you run into any formatting issues with them. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.