Digital Paxton: Digital Collection, Critical Edition, and Teaching Platform

Transcription Assignment: Exploring the (Digital) Archive

Skill: digital archives, transcription
Activity: Individual

In this assignment you will get the chance to learn about eighteenth-century manuscript culture -- and its fantastic handwriting. Historians are very grateful that letters, journals, addresses, memoranda survive, but they can often be difficult to use. Putting a transcription in a digital archive makes these documents far more accessible. In the first part of this assignment, you will try your hand at transcribing a document from the Friendly Association Papers on Digital Paxton. In class you will select one page from one of the manuscripts in this collection that is online. After class you will complete your transcription. You will also write a three-paragraph (750-word) essay response on your experience and how this relates to the Carter article “Of Things Said and Unsaid.”

Step 1: Transcribe a manuscript/page from the the Digital Paxton website
Step 2: Write a three-paragraph summary of your experience
Sample Transcription: Christopher Towne to Israel Pemberton, April 25, 1756

germanton 4dm 25th 1756
Friend Pemberton

            I am glad to hear that friends have
proposed for an acomodation with the Indians.
and, as many ignorant as well as ill minded people are enreached
towards friends, ascribing to them all mischif done by the
Indians without any Sound reason, I should be very glad and
willing to assist in what manner I can and do belive that manny

Download a printable version of this assignment.

© Benjamin Bankhurst and Kyle Roberts

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