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Transcribe Bentham: A Collaborative Initiative

From Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk

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Getting Started

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Welcome to Transcribe Bentham!

Download a printable PDF of these guidelines

By transcribing Bentham’s papers you will contribute to research, help to preserve important documents, learn about philosophy and palaeography, and also have some fun.

We ask Transcribe Bentham volunteers to transcribe pages of Bentham’s writings. As a volunteer, you can transcribe as little or as much as you like, whenever suits you.

Do your best and try not to worry about getting anything wrong. The Transcribe Bentham team are here to help and any possible errors can be easily corrected.

Transcribe Bentham has a review process whereby the TB Editor checks, corrects, and can provide feedback on pages completed by volunteers.

Ready to get started? The introductory guidelines below will help. Before you start transcribing, please also consult our detailed Transcription Guidelines. You can also find more information on our Help pages.

Using Transcribe Bentham

Create an account

Sign in

  • Once you have your account details, you should sign in. You can sign in at the Login page, or by clicking the ‘Log In’ button in the grey toolbar at the top of the screen.

Select a page to transcribe

  • You are welcome to transcribe any open page on the site - we currently have over 90 boxes of Bentham Papers online.
  • The easiest way to begin is to transcribe a fresh page that has never been transcribed before. You can find a list of these on the Untranscribed Manuscripts page.
  • You can also cross-reference this list against our Manuscript List to find papers written on particular subjects, on particular dates, or with easy, medium or difficult handwriting.
  • If you are working on a partially transcribed page, be mindful that other transcribers may be contributing to that page too. You can see a list of users who have worked on a particular page by clicking the 'History' button in the grey toolbar at the top of a manuscript page.
  • If you fancy starting with an easier page, try one of the following: JB/143/020/002, JB/143/020/003, JB/143/020/004, JB/143/021/001.

Transcribe your page

  • Open your chosen page and click the blue text saying ‘Click Here to Edit’.
  • Before you begin transcribing, highlight and delete the text which says ''This Page Has Not Been Transcribed Yet''.
  • Transcribe your page in the text box following the guidance in our Transcription Guidelines.
  • We ask that you type the words exactly as they appear on the page, as far as possible.
  • Please also use the TEI toolbar to tag features of the manuscript, such as underlined or deleted text.
  • Use the 'Preview' tab to view a clean version of your text and check that your tags have been applied correctly.
  • Save your page regularly – we wouldn’t want you to lose any of your hard work.
  • If you cannot complete your page; no problem. Any contribution helps, large or small. Move on to a different page or send us an email and we’ll try to help.

Submit your page for review

  • When you have transcribed as much of the page as you can, you should submit it to the TB Editor for review.
  • When in ‘Edit’ mode, click ‘Completed’ at the bottom of the screen and then press 'Save'.
  • If you wish, you can write questions or comments about your page for the TB Editor in the ‘Message’ box.
  • You can now move on to transcribe another page now, if you like.

Reviewing your transcription

  • The TB Editor will then check your page.
  • Owing to the volume of transcripts we receive, there is usually a bit of delay between submission and review, but we aim to approve submissions as soon as possible.
  • During the review process, the TB Editor checks the accuracy of the transcribed words and associated tags.
  • When you have submitted a page for review, you can still continue transcribing and submitting other pages.

Feedback on your transcription

  • You will be notified by email once your transcript has been reviewed.
  • If your transcript is complete, it will be locked so that it can no longer be edited by other users.
  • If your transcript is not quite complete, it will be left open so it can still be edited by you or other users.
  • The TB Editor will write a short feedback message on your user profile, thanking you for your contribution to the project. To access your user profile, click your username in the grey toolbar at the top of the screen.
  • You can also get more detailed feedback on any corrections which were made to your transcript by following the Feedback guidelines.
  • We welcome any comments on this review process - just send us an email with any questions or remarks.

Start transcribing

  • Now that you have an overview of how it all works, it's time to start transcribing. Please follow our more detailed Transcription Guidelines as you transcribe.
  • Why transcribe Bentham? Find out more about what happens to the transcripts produced by Transcribe Bentham volunteers.
  • If you want to practice reading Bentham's handwriting, you can do so at Transkribus Learn. Sign up for an account and guess the missing word, learning as you go.
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