Have you worked on Mary Smith’s Commonplace Book Concerning Science and Mathematics - or perhaps you are stumped as you’re reviewing?
Great news - smithsonianlibraries staff have created this helpful guide to ease your consternation.
- S can sometimes look like f, especially when double s appears e.g. glass the first s appears to be an f but is actually an s.
- Appearance of Latin and Greek phrases and characters e.g. quaere also spelled quære, which is a Latin term for query is something to be aware of. If the phrase or character cannot be transcribed, then describe in double brackets what it appears to be, like this [[quaere?]].
- Inclusion of Hebraic characters can be marked as [[Hebrew]]; no need to track down the correct symbol for inclusion, as that can be added later by the Libraries.
- Tables and equations do not have to be recreated but can be indicated with [[table]] or [[equation]]. OPTIONAL: discretion is left to transcriber to recreate as such using applications that generate formulas or tables that can be pasted into transcription.
- OPTIONAL: Adding characters with accents and diacritics can be done by using something like Microsoft Word and copying and pasting into the transcription page. The same is true with certain symbols used like for degree ⁰ or use of superscript, otherwise the special character, symbol or superscript can be noted as such and added later by Smithsonian Libraries staff. If you decide to include symbols using programs like Word, note that all special characters may not be available in said programs (e.g. planetary symbols); in such cases identify as [[symbol]].
Let us know how else we can help you transcribe “Mary the Mystery!”