In just a few weeks I will be at the mercy of 35 eager 17- and 18-year-old young women eager to read Arline’s mail. I have decided that we need a very streamlined method for the madness for the project to succeed. The seniors should have the least difficulty, but some of the younger students may have problems with complicated instructions and reading the 19th century handwriting.
I’ve developed an handout that gives the overall objective of the project and establishes a few guidelines:
- read the letter through completely before beginning the transcription
- be true to the text; don’t add or subtract words or phrases
- reserve judgment about the subject matter
We will be using a Clear Text procedure; word-for-word transcription with notations on the author’s corrections placed outside the text itself. This should make the transcripts more enjoyable to read, and be easier for the students.
I’m also working on a PowerPoint presentation to give an overview of the project and the procedure.