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I joined a webinar last week for the new national archives catalog and learned about developments in their site. The most interesting feature is that anyone with internet access can transcribe digitized federal records. One user has taken virtual volunteering to the fullest, having transcribed 500 documents last month [Article Link]. It could be a great project and a way to develop an important genealogy skill; interpreting primary sources. I myself have decided to start working with Records of the Customs Bureau. What has been digitized seems to be from New Bedford in the 19th Century. I will use this as an opportunity to learn about more record groups. You can make an impact on history as a citizen archivist.

Transcription in the National Archives Catalog

Transcription is an important way for us to improve search results and increase accessibility to our historical records. Your contributions make a big impact. Go ahead and give one of the Transcription Missions below a try!

Getting Started

  1. Create a username and password in the National Archives Catalog.
  2. Login from any transcription page or on the login page.
  3. Start a Transcription Mission, check out More Records, or create your own mission by doing a keyword search for your favorite topics.
  4. Select the “View/Add Contributions” button located below all images in the catalog.
  5. Select the “Transcribe” tab for the page of the record you would like to transcribe.
  6. Select the “Edit” button and remember to save your work frequently.

Check out this example transcription page and Citizen Contribution Policy for more information.

Courtesy of Archives.gov

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