Begin your transcription with the date of the first entry on the page, followed by the day of the week on the next line, both in bold. Use the date format “DD MONTH YYYY” and fill in any blanks that are not provided by the diary text. Ignore headers in the upper margin.
1 February 1915
Add one empty line (two full returns) after the date and begin your transcription of the entry, reproducing the original text by maintaining the author’s spelling and paragraph breaks.
Very occasionally, you may come across a spelling error or unconventional use of shorthand. Transcribe them as they appear and include [sic] in square brackets following the word or phrase. There are three major exceptions to this rule:
1. Correct any abbreviated honorifics (Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc.) that are misspelled or missing a period.
2. Add apostrophes to any contractions (can’t, don’t, won’t, etc.), even if the author has omitted one.
3. Add a full stop (period) at the end of a sentence when it is obvious that the sentence has ended, even if the author has omitted one.
When you come across a word or phrase that you cannot decipher, transcribe your best attempt in square brackets. If certain letters in a word are indecipherable, write the identifiable letters, as well as question marks in place of the unidentified letters. If a word is illegible, write a question mark for the number of letters you estimate are in the word.
1 February 1915
Attended lecture in Latin, German and geometry. At 4.15 P.M. we had [???ll] for about several minutes and then marched down to [??????????] [Hall] to hear a lecture on [???ll].
Err on the side of caution when you encounter difficult handwriting. Brackets help to flag difficult words and phrases for our transcription editors.
Keep all text left aligned. If a title is centred, larger than the main body text, or formatted in a peculiar way, you do not need to represent this in the transcription. However, if you come across bolded, italicized, underlined, or strikethrough text, represent the stylized text in your transcription by using the formatting toolbar in the text editor. Ignore changes in font size, spacing, and tabbing in the original document.
Diary pages are numbered. When you reach the end of a page, note the break immediately after the last word on the page by including the bolded text “end p. X” in square brackets.
. . . a third year art student. [end p. 18]
If a word is cut off by the end of a line in the original document, you do not need represent this break in your transcription unless the cut off word is at the end of a page. In this case, add a hyphen to the end of the cut off word, then the “end p. X” text in square brackets, and then the second half of the cut off word.
Using the above example, let’s pretend the word “student” is split between pages 18 and 19.
. . . a third year art stu- [end p. 18] dent.
When you come to the end of an entry, add one empty line (two full returns) after the final word, and begin the next entry with the date.
If you come across a blank page or a series of blank pages, simply note the pages in square brackets in your transcription.