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One of the reasons this project is so exciting is that we’re not entirely sure what you’ll find in our collections. As you explore through our many archival documents, just do your best to make the transcription useful. You can contact us at transcribe-g@mtholyoke.edu if you have a specific question that we haven't answered here.

How do I begin transcribing?

You need to request an account by emailing transcribe-g@mtholyoke.edu. We will respond by creating you an account during our open hours Monday-Friday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM EST. Once you have an account, simply log in and begin transcribing!

Why can't I see the document or why is the document loading slowly?

Some browsers aren't as compatible with the document viewer as others. We recommend you use Google Chrome or Safari on a Mac and Google Chrome or Internet Explorer on a PC. Mozilla Firefox does not render the PDFs well, so we recommend you use another browser.

When will my transcription be reviewed?

We review the transcriptions whenever we can. It may take up to 6 months before your transcription is reviewed. Once it's reviewed, users will no longer be able to make additional changes and a red box reading "Completed" will appear under the document.

Why does the document say "Needs Review" if it isn't finished?

Unfortunately, even if someone only transcribes one sentence, the document status will change from "Not Started" to "Needs Review". This means you should look through all documents unless they say "Completed" to see if you can help transcribe them! 

Where did my edits go?

Make sure you click the "Save transcription" button as you go! Also, you may go back to transcriptions and see edits made by other people. Since these are crowd-sourced transcriptions, anyone can change what you have transcribed. Your changes are not gone forever though because there is a log of every edit made! Feel free to check other people's work and help out if you see a {?}. This is how we can ensure the best possible transcriptions!

What do I do if I see a mistake in a transcription?

Feel free to edit any mistakes you see! Our goal is to get the best transcription possible, so don't be afraid to check the work of others. Remember to avoid editing the document's original spelling and grammar though.

I think I know what this says, but I'm not positive.

If you're not positive about a specific word in the document, put your best guess in curly brackets like this: {cat?}. You don't have to make any guess at all and can simply write {?}, but it's easier for someone else to check it if you've put your best guess.

Will there be more projects in the future?

Yes! As collections are digitized and made available to the public, we hope to add more documents to this site. Your transcriptions help us, students, historians, and others using these materials!

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