Our students at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies register for our online courses for a wide variety of reasons. Many are seeking additional education to hone their research skills, and The Institute provides extensive genealogical education for professional genealogists, as well as those who are interested in beginning to research their family history.
Included in our Basic Level courses are the foundational research skills needed to develop solid research methodology practices. Creating Transcriptions is one of those essential skills, however, it does not come naturally for every researcher. For this reason, our Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting Basic Level course has been designed to equip all of our certificate students with this vital ability. It is recommended for all family history researchers, no matter what their level of expertise, to strive to acquire this core skill.
Once these skills are understood, reading and analyzing historical documents will become much easier. Assignments in the course material are designed to put into practice the concepts being taught. By accessing actual original documents, students will gain experience in reading historical handwriting, and they will become familiar with the types of records that were created in several time periods and for various purposes. Analyzing records is much more effective when these records are transcribed and abstracted. The skills learned in each course can then be applied to their own research, no matter where their research is focused. The principles and methodology will be the same, allowing researchers to develop specific research strategies for their regions.
No matter which topic you study, it is important to put your new knowledge to work and practice your new skills. Experience comes with practice. The more you exercise your newly acquired skills, the more familiar they will become, and you will develop confidence in your abilities.
We encourage students to look beyond their own research. There are many opportunities to expand our research. Helping friends or extended family members with their research, exposes us to new records and unfamiliar regions. We learn to think beyond our familiar resources, and seek out new strategies as we develop research plans for their family histories.
Finding research projects can help you to develop your skills. Put your transcription knowledge to the test. There are many local genealogy societies or historical groups, who have projects to process their local history needing volunteers. Look for projects in your area. Below are two examples of opportunities to practice your transcription skills.
Early Ontario Marriage Records
The Kingston Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has been working in collaboration with the Queen’s University Archives(QUA) to digitize early Ontario marriage records at QUA for their 50th Anniversary. You can find the project here: Queen’s University Archives – Transcription Project Simply Create a Free Account. Read the General Transcription Tips. Click on Available Projects, and scroll down to the Marriage Records collection. Gain transcription experience and help future researchers.
Citizen Archivists at the National Archives (NARA)
You can also gain transcription experience with larger repositories. Become a Citizen Archivist at NARA.
Register and Get Started
Get Started Transcribing
Check out their Resources
Practicing your transcription skills by volunteering with transcription projects will benefit your own research. Find ways to transcribe all types of records, especially handwritten documents, wherever you can. Review your own research files and transcribe all of your documents. You are sure to discover new clues as you analyze them word by word!
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
Skills: Transcribing, Abstracting & Extracting
Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents
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