A transcript provides future researchers with a useful way to search records. By transcribing Sackson’s diaries, even if you transcribe one entry or many, it contributes to the ability to read his diaries in an easier way. Every word helps! These guidelines will ensure that your transcription will meet the standards for this project and guarantee consistency across all transcriptions.

  1. Type what you see! This is the most important aspect of transcribing. Pages may contain drawings, multiple entries for different dates, capitalization, and abbreviations. Just type words as they are written on the page following the order and layout using your best judgement.
  2. Proofread your transcript for grammar, spelling, and consistency.
  3. Check the formatting and make sure spacing, line-breaks, capitalization, and any in-text notations match the original diary entry. Highlight the word/phrase in the transcription pane and use the available formatting buttons above the pane to denote bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, lists, horizontal bar, and more.

Questions? Check out our Transcription Walkthrough and FAQs guide here.


Transcription Formatting and Punctuation

  • Abbreviations: Sackson frequently used abbreviations, which you should record as originally written in their abbreviated forms. You can add the non-abbreviated term in brackets.
    Commonly used abbreviations include:

    • abt. – about

    • A.H. – Avalon Hill

    • BB – Bernice Sackson

    • cont. – continued

    • dupl. – duplicate

    • equipt. – equipment

    • M.B. – Milton Bradley

    • P.B. or P. – Parker Brothers

    • pc. or pcs. – piece/pieces

    • rcd.  or rc'd. – received

    • repro. – reproduction

    • S&T – Strategy and Tactics

    • w. – with

  • Brackets: In transcriptions, brackets are typically used to include information not specifically mentioned such as a full acronym name, a non-verbal occurrence, a proper name, to signify an illegible word, or to add clarification. You can use brackets to make corrections if something is spelled wrong or designate a drawing. If you’d like to make a notation about something you see in the record, do so in brackets.
    Then I gave my doll to her [my sister].
    [Drawing of various shaped blocks that are numbered and are connected to create a large rectangle]
    [Arrow drawn to previous page noting that the following entry occurred on Friday, September 9th]
    I’ll get him repros of the games [crossed out] rules.
  • Capitalization/upper case: Sackson frequently wrote in upper case letters to designate game names. Use capital letters when you transcribe anything Sackson has written in upper case letters.

  • Horizontal rule (line): Sackson often wrote different date entries on the same page and noted in parenthesis the date the entry continues from and in brackets the date the entry originated from. Use a horizontal rule (button above the transcription pane) to indicate an entry for a different day on the same page. Additionally, use a horizontal rule after the header (date) and before the entry begins.
  • Italics: Italicize the titles of books, newspapers, magazines, movies, video games, and TV shows, unless underlined in the original entry.
  • Line breaks and paragraphs: Please preserve the line-breaks as you see them in the diary entry. Although the formatted version of the transcription doesn’t show them, they still appear in the unformatted version which we want to be true to the original diary entry. To create a separate paragraph, you will need to hit “enter” twice; otherwise, the formatted version will group all of the text together in the same paragraph.
  • Lists/Bullet points: You can use the formatting buttons to create lists or bullet points; be sure to check the formatting afterward to ensure the numbering is not duplicated.
  • Misspellings: There are often misspellings in the diary entries. Use your best judgment when transcribing misspelled words or names. Simple mistakes can be corrected; however, if it is a name or seems intentional, please transcribe as-is and add the correct spelling in brackets.
    I met with Phil Orbans [Orbanes].
    Then can get "requisitions" to use other workers' files but must justify this use by getting data about their speciality. [transcribed as is]
  • Punctuation: Use your best judgment when transcribing punctuation. Simple mistakes may be corrected; however, if the mistake is part of the cadence of the writing or may be intentional, please transcribe as-is.
    Could’nt --> can be corrected to couldn’t
    ‘till --> should be transcribed as-is
  • Strikeouts/Cross-outs: Transcribe any crossed-out words if you can read them and use the formatting button to apply the strikeout. You may include [crossed out] next to the text to denote how it looks in the original entry.
    I’ll get him repros of the games rules.
    Some further changes [illegible word crossed out] in POWUR.
  • Transcribing charts or tables:  Please follow the example below for transcribing any charts.
    [column headings: Game name. Dollar amount. Notes.]
    ACQUIRE. $401.22.
    EXECUTIVE DECISION. $156.78. ($6.66 to Claude).
    SLEUTH. $119.97.
    TOTALLY. $19.47.
    VENTURE. $42.57.
    Total. $740.01
    [end of table]

  • Underlining: Underline anything that is underlined in the diary entry. Sackson used solid underlines for books, magazines, and games and dotted underlines for people, which denotes their inclusion in the diary indexes.


Transcription Tips

  • Unreadable Text: When you do not know what something says, use a blank. If you can piece together some of the letters, do so. You can also use brackets to designate your best guess.
    __________ [Sackson?]
    __________ [illegible name.]
  • Spell names correctly: Many diaries contain indexes of people, games, magazines, and books referenced during that year. These can be found at the beginning or the end of the diary, many times both (with games at the end; people, books, and magazines at the beginning). Use these lists to double check the spelling of names, especially those you aren’t sure about. You may also research the proper spellings of names, companies, games, etc. online. When in doubt, specify your best guess.
  • Save your work: As you transcribe, be sure you save your work frequently. After saving, the transcription will show you a formatted version. While the line breaks aren’t preserved here, they are included within the metadata and appear correctly on the back end.