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You Can Transcribe It!

Help Unlock History!

Welcome to the Transcription Challenge! Help us transcribe some of the millions of digitized pages of records in the National Archives Catalog. What stories will you find? 

Transcribe #1000pages for Sunshine Week

Transcription Challenge Surpasses Goal! Thank you!

Citizen archivists transcribed 2,500 pages and added 10,000 tags to the National Archives Catalog during Sunshine Week, March 16-23, 2015. We more than doubled the 1,000 page goal! Participants used the hashtag #1000pages and tweeted @USNatArchives to let us know what they found in the records. Check out our Storify of the Transcription Challenge.

We still need your help!  We have millions of pages of digitized records available in our online catalog. Check out how to get started and the Transcription Missions below.

Transcription Challenge: Sunshine Week - March 16-23, 2015

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.

Transcription Missions

Photographs Relating to the National Forests

We need your help transcribing the typed captions on these images. This easy transcription will help make these images more available for searching.

Difficulty: Beginner

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Declassified records

What can you find in these records chock-full of previous classification markings? Also check out CIA records. Many of these are typed records.

Difficulty: Intermediate

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Papers of the Continental Congress

These records are letters from Benjamin Franklin.

Difficulty: Advanced

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started


Record Books of the Confederate Government

Are you up for a challenge? These Confederate Record books are Handwritten books from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Offices of the Confederate Government and they are huge! It may take all of you to work together to complete the transcription. Don't be shy, jump in and do a page!

Difficulty: Advanced

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Love Letters from Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Check out the handwritten courtship letters between Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.

Difficulty: Intermediate

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Interviews related to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Help transcribe audio recordings from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Difficulty: Advanced

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started


The Franklin D. Roosevelt/Winston Churchill Correspondence, 1939 - 1945

These documents are the correspondence between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill from the outbreak of World War II in Europe through the United States' entry into the war in December, 1941 and up to President Roosevelt's death> in April, 1945. In these records you will find coded cable traffic and other correspondence, drafts, and aide memoirs.

Difficulty: Medium

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Transcription Tips

  • Type what you see. Transcribe in a way that makes sense for the record.
  • If you can't make out a word, use [illegible]. If you'd like to make a notation about something you see in the record, do so in brackets. For example: [stamp in blue ink].
  • If there is a PDF of the record available, you can try to copy and paste the text layer of the PDF in the transcription field and correct the text that was captured through OCR.
  • Try out transcribing audio and video records. You can also transcribe National Archives films on the Amara Platform.
  • For foreign language documents, we encourage you to transcribe the original language. If you would like to provide a translation, you can add this after the transcription.
  • For those records that don't have text to transcribe, take a moment to tag what you see in the records.
  • Check out the Citizen Contribution Policy for more information.

Suggestions

Have feedback? We’d like to hear from you. Send us your suggestions at catalog@nara.gov. Tweet us @USNatArchives or on our Github feedback repository.

More Records to Transcribe

Please help us work on these records. We will work to refresh this list as records are transcribed.

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