Our National Institute for Genealogical Studies courses feature a variety of topics, many relating to our quest for sharpening our transcription skills. Transcribing historical records reaches beyond the documents themselves. Yes, we must learn to read the handwriting of that time period, however, we also must strive to understand the context in which they were created.
Our introductory course Discover Your Family History will guide you through the steps for how to start your family history, from gathering information from Home Sources to finding records in online databases such as FamilySearch and Ancestry.
Once you discover these records, you will need to glean the information they contain. Our basic course Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting is for every family historian, no matter how long you have been researching. It examines foundational principles and provides exercises and assignments to understand various records you will encounter in your search.
The Life of Our Ancestors course challenges students to dig a little deeper to find the stories and details about their ancestors’ lives. This may include transcribing old letters, diaries and journals, and abstracting those elements to start fleshing out the bones of your genealogy and to make your family history come alive.
Our Research: Social History course examines the time period and customs practiced around your ancestors’ families, influencing their beliefs and decisions. Only by researching the specifics of their lives, their communities, the world around them, with all of the forces and influences that shaped their environment, can you begin to know who they were. There are many sources to study social history.
Organizing a One-Place Study is another excellent course, which takes a detailed look into a community or region. By documenting the lives of the residents and how they interacted together, including their relationships, and then examining them in light of historical events, we gain a clearer picture and perspective of the lives they lived. Historical documents may need to be consulted beyond regular genealogical sources.
It is highly recommended for every serious researcher to consider taking our Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents course. This advanced course covers a number of topics encountered in older records. It not only takes a deeper look into the handwriting and script styles you will encounter; it explores many issues related to transcribing old documents. This includes calendars, weights and measures, currency, occupations, and so much more. Analysis of your transcribed documents will require understanding how to put that information into context. An extensive workbook is included with the course materials.
Lastly, check the lists of Country-Themed courses to learn about more courses related to your family history and the origins of your immigrant ancestors. Each country has unique aspects to be aware of, and records collections will be highlighted in their course materials. The added challenge will be transcribing documents in another language. Check the Transcription Tuesday Index for previous posts covering some of these records.
All of these courses are scheduled to begin this month. A list of online courses scheduled for registration can be found on our Course Calendar here.
As researchers, we have found that there are many skills we need to employ in order to achieve success in our future research projects. Transcription Tuesday will share guidelines and practical suggestions to help our readers to develop the skills for making effective transcriptions, abstracts, and extractions.
Transcription Tuesday previous blog post
Transcription Tuesday Index
These three core courses demonstrate Transcription principles. They are offered monthly, beginning on the first Monday of every month: Register today!
Methodology-Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building (Basic Level)
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting (Basic Level)
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents (Advanced)
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here.
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LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997