View Full Version : TRANSCRIBING DIARIES
09-08-2010, 2:14 PM
I have transcribed the diaries of an ancestor written between 1849 & 1862 and now seem to be going around in circles. To date I have used Word, but feel I may need another programme. I would like to publish them for distribution (sale) to interested family and maybe to the Local History organisations in the area where they are focused. There have been expressions of interest.
Some words are either indeciphable, crammed or run off the page. So far I have identified them with [ ? ] and [suggested word]. Is this acceptable ?
I have researched many of the persons mentioned and wish to add footnotes- what is the best way around this ?
Index of names- I have compiled a cumbersome list but feel there must be an easier, more organised way around this as well ?
I intend including- Background to the Family; Abbreviations; Reference/Sources; Maps; Photographs ; Name Index; Footnotes.
This is my first attempt at anything such as this, so any advice will be much appreciated.
09-08-2010, 3:04 PM
Hi Prue: it sounds as though you're doing fine: some suggestions as (a) a Word user and (b) a compulsive reader of Diaries & Letters published in any form:
Your way of dealing with illegible words would be acceptable to me as a reader. You could even scan the doubtful bit into an appendix or an illustration if you felt very adventurous (I love it when publishers do that) but it's not necessary.
I wouldn't change programmes if you're used to Word. You can do footnotes quite easily, I remember inserting them into reports in the dim distant past. You might want to look at the online help if you dont know how to do it. It's like anything else technical: easy once you know how.
There's also a way of indexing names but I dont know how that's done. I think you can count on there being an easy way to do anything that's commonly used in publishing. Good luck - its a really good project.
09-08-2010, 7:23 PM
Word can easily compile an index of names for you, the way it is done will depend to an extent on the version of Word that you have but basically the method is to select each occurrence of the word(s) that you want to index then mark it as an index item; in 2007 click on the References tab, the Index group, then click Mark Entry; the index is then automatically generated complete with page numbers. The item you want to index in the text may just be a first name (Prue, say) but you can edit the index entry so that it appears as Gore, Prue.
As DorothySandra says, creating a footnote is also dead easy and Word automatically keeps it at the foot of the relevant page even when you insert additional text or change the pagination in some other way.
The easy way to access the Help topics is to hit the F1 key.
When you finally complete the transcription I would suggest that you convert the file to pdf (latest versions of Word do this, use the Save as ... command). If you have an earlier version there are a number of free pdf-generating programs that you can download. Distributing the transcription as a file to computer-users, perhaps on a CD-ROM, is a lot cheaper than printing off a long document.
I would agree, it's a very well worth while project.
09-08-2010, 7:53 PM
Once you are happy with the presentation, save it as a PDF document (you might have to download an add-on or even a print driver). Most people will have a pdf viewer where they wont have Word.
10-08-2010, 11:29 AM
Thanks to Dorothy, Sandra & Neil,
I am much encouraged by your replies, so will push on using Word. I am using Word 2002, but have had a look at Help and just need to practice!
Sandra, I have already scanned some illegible words, but not sure if I will do it as an Appendix. It is a good idea, but I'll see how many more I can decipher and if there aren't too many I may consider this.
Because I have lived through these diaries and become so involved with the daily lives of these dear people I'm wanting to make them interesting and easy for others to read.
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