Currently, a large part of our project involves locating and transcribing documents including obituaries, newspaper articles, letters, deeds and biographies. We gain several benefits by transcribing articles:
- Typed text is easier to read than handwritten documents or old poor quality newspaper images
- As text, transcriptions can be included in search results, helping to speed up cross referencing research.
- Text can be extracted from, merged with or otherwise manipulated into new combinations or forms.
Volunteering as a transcriber is easy and you control the pace. You request one or more documents to transcribe and can work in your spare time. All work is broken down into individual articles, journal pages, letters, etc. and each can typically be transcribed in 5-15 minutes. You can request one document a day, week or month. Work sporadically as you can. We welcome all the help we can get but do not pressure you at all.
To get started, all you need is to contact us and to get a free Dropbox account setup on a computer with Microsoft Word. If you can’t or don’t want to use Dropbox, we can arrange other methods of exchanging material.
Setting Up Dropbox
Dropbox provides a safe way to share a folder between our two computers. When you request a file to transcribe, we drop it in a folder and it appears in a corresponding folder on your computer. When you are finished with a file, we can download it and integrate it back into our growing archives.
After you volunteer, just follow these steps:
- Learn more about dropbox here.
- Sign up for a free dropbox account.
- Download and install drop box on your computer to create a folder structure into which our shared folder will go.
- Contact us and you will receive an email from us with a link to your dropbox folder. Once you accept our “share” your “SMP” folder should appear on your computer inside your Dropbox folder.
- Read these instructions about our transcribing process.
- When you are ready to start let us know and we will send you one document to transcribe to get started. After that is complete and reviewed, you can request additional work as you have time.
Note: Because we don’t want to pressure anyone, you must request material to transcribe.