Smithsonian Institution Archives Expedition Slides

Transcribing Smithsonian Institution Archives - Expedition Slides

The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds a number of slide collections from various Smithsonian field expeditions and other endeavors. Thanks for your interest in helping to transcribe the original annotations on these slides, which will help to identify their locations, subjects, and dates. Read below for instructions on transcribing this content, and reach out anytime with questions. 


Our Transcription & Review Process



We seek to balance quality and speed with our transcription process; your feedback helps us improve our approach. At the moment, this is how our system works:

1) Anyone can start transcribing or add to a transcription of a document.

2) Once a volunteer decides they’ve “finished” and they’re ready for review, a different volunteer (who must have an account on the site) can review the transcription and either send it back for edits, or complete the transcription.

3) The finished transcript is sent to the Smithsonian, where it may be used immediately, or undergo additional work.


How to Transcribe the Smithsonian Institution Archives Expedition Slides


We're seeking your help to make the annotations/captions on these slides more easily discovered via search. Please would you transcribe each slide annotation in the following way--as written, with each element (i.e. each side's annotation) on a separate line, correpsonding with the caption we've bracketed for you:

  • [[Top caption]] 
  • [[Right caption]]
  • [[Bottom caption]]
  • [[Left caption]]

Please transcribe only the captions that appear handwritten on the slide. Pre-printed text should not be transcribed. If any sides of the slide are blank, simply leave that line blank in the transcription field. There is no need to indicate a blank side with the word blank, but instead, please leave the corresponding line in the transcription field blank next to the [[____ caption]]. This blank line indicates no annotation on that side of the slide (see example image below). If there are no handwritten captions on any part of the slide, please mark the page complete, and move on to the next slide. There is also no need to describe the images on the slides, we are only looking for caption transcriptions on this project. If you would like to describe the images, or add further background or contextual information (which is always great!) you may do so in the notes field.


You'll notice that in many of the slides created during Waldo Schmitt's various expeditions, Schmitt often marked the slides with his initials. In these cases, please indicate the WS initials as "WS [[initials]]". Please refer to the example image below, from the Smithsonian-Bredin Caribbean Expedition, 1959 (Slides 1 of 2) project. You'll notice in this example, how the initials are marked, along with intentional blank spaces next to the [[Right caption]] and [[Left caption]], indicating blank (or no written text present) sides. 


Most images inside the frames are oriented where "down" is at the bottom and the top of the image corresponds with "up." The writing may occasionally go in a different direction.  In order to best read the captions, you may want to rotate the images, however, lines transcribed should reflect the original orientation. Please see the example image below for a slide that is oriented in a different direction. (note that in this example the image is oriented sideways, where the "down" or "bottom of the slide" is actually oriented at the top). To rotate images, use the rotate button (indicated in the image on the right below). 




















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