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You Can Transcribe It!

Help Unlock History!

Welcome to the Transcription Challenge! Help us transcribe some of the millions of digitized pages of records in the National Archives Catalog. What stories will you find? 

Transcription in the National Archives Catalog

Transcription is an important way for us to improve search results and increase accessibility to our historical records. Your contributions make a big impact. Go ahead and give one of the Transcription Missions below a try!

Getting Started

  1. Create a username and password in the National Archives Catalog.
  2. Login from any transcription page or on the login page.
  3. Start a Transcription Mission, check out More Records, or create your own mission by doing a keyword search for your favorite topics.
  4. Select the “View/Add Contributions” button located below all images in the catalog.
  5. Select the “Transcribe” tab for the page of the record you would like to transcribe.
  6. Select the “Edit” button and remember to save your work frequently.

Check out this example transcription page and Citizen Contribution Policy for more information.

Transcription Missions

Photographs Relating to the National Forests

We need your help transcribing the typed captions on these images. This easy transcription will help make these images more available for searching.

Difficulty: Beginner

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Instruction on Getting Started

Declassified records

What can you find in these records chock-full of previous classification markings? Also check out CIA records. Many of these are typed records.

Difficulty: Intermediate

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Instruction on Getting Started

Papers of the Continental Congress

Difficulty: Advanced

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Instruction on Getting Started


Record Books of the Confederate Government

Are you up for a challenge? These Confederate Record books are Handwritten books from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Offices of the Confederate Government and they are huge! It may take all of you to work together to complete the transcription. Don't be shy, jump in and do a page!

Difficulty: Advanced

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Instruction on Getting Started

Prohibition

Records at the National Archives span from the temperance movement to the Volstead Act and the repeal of prohibition. Help transcribe these records related to alcohol.

Difficulty: Intermediate

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Instruction on Getting Started

Interviews related to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

Help transcribe audio recordings from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

Difficulty: Advanced

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Instruction on Getting Started


The Franklin D. Roosevelt/Winston Churchill Correspondence, 1939 - 1945

These documents are the correspondence between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill from the outbreak of World War II in Europe through the United States' entry into the war in December, 1941 and up to President Roosevelt's death> in April, 1945. In these records you will find coded cable traffic and other correspondence, drafts, and aide memoirs.

Difficulty: Medium

» Start This Mission


Instruction on Getting Started

Transcription Tips

  • Type what you see. Transcribe in a way that makes sense for the record.
  • If you can't make out a word, use [illegible]. If you'd like to make a notation about something you see in the record, do so in brackets. For example: [stamp in blue ink].
  • If there is a PDF of the record available, you can try to copy and paste the text layer of the PDF in the transcription field and correct the text that was captured through OCR.
  • Try out transcribing audio and video records. You can also transcribe National Archives films on the Amara Platform.
  • For foreign language documents, we encourage you to transcribe the original language. If you would like to provide a translation, you can add this after the transcription.
  • For those records that don't have text to transcribe, take a moment to tag what you see in the records.
  • Check out the Citizen Contribution Policy for more information.

Suggestions

Have feedback? We’d like to hear from you. Send us your suggestions at catalog@nara.gov. Tweet us @USNatArchives or on our Github feedback repository.

More Records to Transcribe

Please help us work on these records. We will work to refresh this list as records are transcribed.

Citizen Archivist Dashboard >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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