By contributing to transcriptions, you can help the National Archives make historical documents more accessible. Transcriptions help in searching for the document as well as in reading and understanding the document. The work you do transcribing a handwritten or typed document will help the next person discover and use that record.
The transcription tool features over 300 documents ranging from the late 18th century through the 20th century for citizen archivists to transcribe. Documents include letters to a civil war spy, presidential records, suffrage petitions, and fugitive slave case files. Documents are categorized based on level of difficulty:
You are able to select documents based on level of difficulty, year, and status of transcription. You can search for keywords such as "Lincoln." Please consult the Transcription Tips, FAQs, and Policy pages for more information.
Transcribe Documents on Wikisource
Wikisource is the “free library that anyone can improve” and is focused on primary sources. As part of the National Archives’ Wikipedian in Residence program, we are encouraging citizen archivists to transcribe records from the National Archives on Wikisource.
The documents above are just a few of the records that have been uploaded from the National Archives and are in need of transcription. These documents are mostly at the “beginner” level in terms of difficulty. You will find instructions for transcription on each page.
If you are interested in getting more involved and helping manage the project, please check out the WikiProject NARA page on Wikisource.