APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2005-12 > 1133466728
From: "Ken Aitken" <>
Subject: RE: [APG] Transcribing names
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 13:52:08 -0600
Mary's comment is interesting. It is my practise to transcribe exactly what
I see.I see that the BCG Standards Manual supports that position. See page
5, point 11, first bullet where we learn that researchers who transcribe
should include, exactly as given in the record, the names, dates, spelling,
capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. The only exception seems to be
that we record obsolete letter forms with their modern equivalents, rather
than modern look-alikes.
I do not use square bracketed translations of alternatively spelled names in
the transcript.Thus any spelling of Aitken, Aiken, Atken, Atkins, Aitkens
etc ad nauseum appears as originally, creatively spelled in the document in
my transcripts. Similarly, they are not translated into English from Gaelic
or Maori. Thus if the document about me is in Chinese (and there may well be
several) in the TRANSLATION into English my surname would remain in its
Chinese form, "Ai" and that would continue into the TRANSCRIPTION and into
the ABSTRACT. In ABSTRACT I might add in square brackets that "Ai Ching Kan"
is the name known to be used by Kenneth Aitken". If no abstract is created I
might footnote the translation of the name if the person was known by the
translated form. But I doo this very cautiously as some names like my
chinese name are not translations of my English name, but new names. On
Rarotonga I was known as Mata'a and among the Samoan Moefiti, neither are
translations of Aitken in the sense of carrying the same meaning as Aitken
[Adam, or son of Adam].
I ramble. But I hope it make some sense.
Prairie History Librarian
Regina Public Library
From: Marty Hiatt [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 1:02 PM
Subject: [APG] Transcribing names
I really appreciate your last sentence: "The objective, in transcription, is
to be faithful to the *intent* and *nature* of the original..." Let's
promote this without unnecessary square brackets.
I am not referring to obviously misspelled names, only interpretation of
script penmanship. When the name Reid was written as Read, it should be
transcribed as Read. There's no need to bracket Reid.
When Sterrett was written with a vowel I call an open e, it should be
transcribed as Sterrett, not Storrott [Sterrett].
But on the other hand, when someone wrote the surname Rust with too much
flourish on the capital R, so that it now appears as we would write B, the
initial letter was still an R. Therefore, the name was written as Rust, so
should be transcribed as Rust.
Ms. Marty Hiatt, CGRS
"Document what you find, listen to what you are told, and especially, love
and respect your work." John Morris
CGRS is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists,
used under license after periodic evaluations by the Board.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Barbara Robertson" <>
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 5:02 PM
Subject: RE: [APG] Correct way to transcribe names
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mills [mailto:]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:58 PM
> Subject: RE: [APG] Correct way to transcribe names
> The University of Cambridge has an online course for English handwriting
> that genealogists may find interesting.
> Of course, this course serves students from a variety of disciplines where
> one might research original, handwritten manuscripts. The course has a
> range of original manuscripts from 1500-1700 with sample transcriptions.
> authors of the course suggest that one include with a transcription a list
> of conventions used to represent the handwritten manuscript.
> This may be one way to clarify how the transcription represents the nature
> of the original manuscript, which Elizabeth so aptly suggests is the goal
> an accurate transcription:
> <In broader terms, a typescript is never going to exactly replicate a
> document. Typed characters aren't even shaped the same in many cases. The
> objective, in transcription, is to be faithful to the *intent* and
> of the original, no?>
> Barbara Robertson
> ==== APG Mailing List ====
> The Association of Professional Genealogists
==== APG Mailing List ====
The Association of Professional Genealogists
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