What’s crowd-sourced transcription all about?
THE PURPOSE OF TRANSCRIPTION
Because computers have a hard time understanding handwriting, many of our collections still hold many secrets and hidden knowledge inside their pages. With your help, we can bring that knowledge to life.
Full-text transcription of documents makes them easier to search. If we want to know how many times the name “Mary Lyon” comes up in early Seminary student letters or find the earliest mention of a baseball game played on campus, we must have that writing transcribed.
Cursive is often no longer taught in schools; to preserve our society’s understanding of historic documents for future generations, it is essential that we create text transcriptions of these documents.
USEFULNESS OVER PERFECTION
Ultimately, an imperfect transcription that is finished in a timely manner is more useful than an exhaustingly detailed and carefully scrutinized transcription that takes years to finish. Do your best but don’t worry about trying to be perfect!
Text from the Smithsonian’s Instructions for the Transcription Center (last accessed March 2015).
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