Transcribing Documents

What do you need to know about transcribing and publishing documents, and what broad transcription guidelines make sense for your documents and your audience? This unit will explore the difference between publishing in print and digital, and the range of interventions that editors make in their texts.

  • Approx. 3 hours to complete
  • Self-paced, progress at your own speed
  • 100% Online
  • Free
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About this course

Transcription is the process of converting the text in your primary source into standardized typed characters. Why, you might ask, do you need to complete an entire course on the process of transcription? After all, you simply look at the document and type it out, right? Well, yes and no. Even when your documents are simple and easy to read, you still need to make some important decisions to ensure that your transcriptions are consistent. When your documents are complicated, hard to read, or damaged, transcription becomes a much more difficult and complicated prospect. Therefore, developing transcription guidelines is essential. Your transcription guidelines will be your lighthouse, guiding you through the choppy waters of transcribing primary sources.

What you'll learn

  1. to identify the purpose of transcription in print and digital formats.
  2. to discern between different methods of transcription.
  3. to explain how transcription works in practice.
  4. to evaluate different types of editorial intervention.
  5. to create your own transcription guidelines.

Course Guides

Course Glossary

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  • Diplomatic Transcription

    A literal transcription of a document, where all words, including those that were added or deleted, are represented. See in contrast to normalized transcription.

  • Normalized Transcription

    A transcription of a document where the substance of the content is retained, but some elements like spelling, punctuation, or contractions are changed with the intention of improving the readability of the text. See in contrast to diplomatic transcription.

  • Transcription

    The act of interpreting and adapting source material to create a readable form or representation of it.