Core Guidelines

Type What You See

Copy the words and paragraphs as you see them. Use original spelling, even if technically “wrong” by our 21st century standards. Punctuation (capitalization), special characters (ex: ! ? &), abbreviations, and Roman numerals should also be transcribed as closely as possible to how they appear in the original document.

Blank Pages

When you come across a blank page, insert blank page tag like this: [[blank page]]


Do not worry about indenting new paragraphs. Simply separate paragraphs by entering a line space between.

Line Breaks & Indentations

Text lines in the transcribed document should be exactly the same as in the original document. Please do not change the line breaks even though it may appear to make the document more readable. Following line breaks will help us sync your transcription to the original document, an important part of the digitization process.

Page Numbers

Page numbers appear on some documents. Treat page numbers as their own line of text. Only transcribe page numbers that were written as part of the original document. You can ignore page numbers that were added at a later time.

    Affection to one party, & possibly opposed to another,

    Edward III at the same time a proviso was made that during


Stamps | Archival Marks

Do not transcribe stamped numbering, archive property stamps, or the handwritten in pencil idenitification markings.


Superscript & Abbreviations

Throughout the collection you will encounter superscript being used for titles (Ldy, Mr.); in the Early Modern English/Old English use of the letter thorn (ex: Þ þ), ye and yt; and for and dates. In this case, you do not need to worry about capturing formatting. Transcribe the words as written but without the superscript.

Example Superscript and Abbrev

   ye.            yt.          Lrd          Mr. Hicks


Unclear| Illegible Words

Use [[unclear]] for words, sentences and paragraphs that you cannot read.

Example Unclear Word

blood [[unclear]] & this,


Accent Marks | Diacritics

Documents in languages other than English -- Transcribe accent marks/diacritics as seen in the document.  Use your normal keyboard special characters map or shortcuts to insert the accents.

Currency Symbols and Marks

The pound, £; shilling, s.; and pence, d. symbol and abbreviations are frequently encountered and usually written above the numerals. For currency, type the symbols and abbreviations on the same line as the numbers and use double commas; like this:

  £200,00.      £5,,12.  1,142,973,,13,,9.     £      s.  d.

*Consult supplement guidelines for account lists and complex financial documents.


Dotted Lines

Simplify the dotted lines used to format short account list by typing four (4) dots between the description and numerals, like this:

 Example Dotted Line




Use [[image]] when you come across an illustration, drawing, sketch, doodle, coat of arms, or drawn symbol on a page.

Example images symbol


Example Symbol

fantastical way of thinking,



When words and portions of text have been deleted (strikethrough or crossed-out) enclose the deleted words in [[deletion]] tags.

If you are unable to read the stricken-through words use the [[unclear]] and [[deletion]] tags.

Example deletion

[[deletion]] There is no doubt but [[/deletion]] The gunpowder



When you come across words that has been added (inserted) above or below the written text line, transcribe the word(s) in the text line and enclose the added word(s) in [[addition]] tags.

Include the carrot ˄ symbol if written in document.

Example addition

no Person [[deletion]] shall [[/deletion]] [[addition]] can [[/addition]]


Complex Deletions & Additions

You may come across a combination of added and deleted text, where the added text is intended to replace the text that is deleted with a strikethrough. This is known as a substitution. Transcribe the text where the added words follow the deleted words and tag each portion accordingly.

Example complex delete and add

acquire ^ [[addition]] to [[/addition]] You happiness in this world 
[[addition]] as well as hereafter [[/addition]] the
[[deletion]] other [[/deletion]] ^ [[addition]] latter [[/addition]]


Underlined Text

Enclose underlined text with opening and closing [[underline]] tags.

Example underlined text

The [[underline]] Executive [[/underline]] belonging


Non-English Words

When you come across short paragraphs, passages, or words in another language than English, enclose the non-English text in [[foreign]] tags and note the foreign language.

 Example foreign word

Marriages of their Heirs
ye. [[foreign: Latin]] initium mali. [[/foreign]]



A catchword is the first word of the following page inserted at the right-hand lower corner of a manuscript folio, below the last line. Enclose catchwords in [[catchwords]] tags. 

Example Catchword

looked upon as the interest of the
[[catchword]] There [[/catchword]]


Hyphenated Words

When words at the end of a line are hyphenated (con-tinue) and finished on the line below, type the full word on the line in which it first appears.

Hyphenated Words

...but upon mature consideration
I find it more...


Text Direction

In some of the documents you will come across text written in a variety of directions. When you encounter this, transcribe the body of the text first, insert a line space, and transcribe the remaining text in its own paragraph.

Example Text Direction


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