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Transcription Methods

As much as possible, the transcriptions are meant to reflect what appears on the page, though sometimes we have modernized portions to help with the discoverability of the website and searching within the site. Certain transcription notations are used to help assist the legibility of the document. In order to signify that a word has been underlined, the word is bracketed by [u] and [/u]. An example of this would be, “With an [u]immense[/u] amount of love for all.” When a word is bracketed by [?___?], this signifies that the transcriber has made an educated guess about the word, but is not certain it is the right one, for example, “I think Ohio may well be [?proud?] of the Presidents.” If a word is completely illegible, either due to damage or poor handwriting, [illegible] replaces the word itself. When a word was crossed out by the author, this is shown by using the notation: [--text--]. Caret symbols were sometimes used by the authors to insert additional information. In our transcriptions, we have noted it by doing the following: ^[text text]. When there are unique physical features of the original items, the transcription will include a [Note:], for example, [Note: small embossed symbol on the top left corner]. In some instances, the writing does not follow a Western directional writing pattern (for example, it might be vertical); thus, transcriptions illustrate how the letter or piece should be read, not the way it was written on the pages. In these cases, there is a note which indicates the original location of the writing. In some cases, words are modified for clarity. For instance, although missionary is written as miſsionary in some letters (per the time period), it is modified in the transcriptions to aid researchers. The brevigraph of &c/+c is preserved. However, if there are different abbreviations, such as Wm for William, the full word follows the abbreviation in brackets - Wm [William]. The symbol (°) is used to indicate the original degrees symbol present in some letters. A specific abbreviation you may see is dsnt, an abbreviation for does not, that looks a lot like dont, but does not work in the sentence.