How to Get Started

  • A. Choose a Document to Transcribe

    A. Choose a Document to Transcribe

    1. Click on 'Stories' on the Menu bar to explore our collection of stories.
    2. Either scroll through the pages to explore the collection, or filter your search via language, type or completion status. You can also filter documents by ‘tag’, which only show those documents that are part of a specific Run.
    3. Click on your desired story. Make sure you check its current completion status.
    4. Pick a document you would like to transcribe. If you are just getting started, it might be a good idea to start from the beginning of the story or begin with a transcription that has already been started by someone else.
    5. Click on the pen to transcribe.

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  • B. Transcribe Documents

    B. Transcribe Documents

    1. Switch to full-screen view to read and transcribe the document more effectively. Your transcription pane will move to full-screen view with you.
    2. Adjust the size and location of the transcription pane, according to how it best suits you.
    3. Use the functions on the left-hand panel or your mouse scroll to zoom in, and adjust your view of the document by dragging, so that you can see clearly what you are trying to transcribe.
    4. Type in your transcription. Refer to our Formatting Guidelines to learn how to use the writing tools and to see how you can neatly write your transcription.
    5. Save your transcription. Make sure that you save your transcription before you click right to transcribe the next page of the document. This also applies to when you are leaving full-screen mode. If you do not save your transcription after every step, it might automatically be lost and you will have to start again.

  • C. Add Geotags to Documents

    C. Add Geotags to Documents

    1. When you are reading through a document, you might find a specific location mentioned in the text. Don’t let this information get away! Add a geotag to the document.
    2. For this page in particular, rotate the image to get a better look at the location name. Exit full-screen view to access the location map.
    3. Check if the location already exists in the map. In this instance, it doesn’t as the story location is set to Malta. Click ‘Add location’.
    4. Search the mentioned location through Google.
    5. Zoom into the generated map to check if the pin is in the correct location. Make adjustments accordingly by dragging the pin.
    6. Type in the location name and click ‘Save location’.
    7. You will now find the new location on the item’s map. You can add multiple locations to a single item.

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How Our System Works

To make transcriptions as accurate as possible, our transcribing process has been divided into four different steps.

Each story and item displays the following stages of completion:

Transcription has not been started   Transcription has been started, but not yet finished. Additions or edits can be made to the current transcription   Transcription is finished, but needs final review by Mentor or Champion transcribers
  Transcription is completed and reviewed. No further changes can be made.


Peer-support is necessary for the full completion of each transcription, so that corrections and a review can be made by at least one other transcriber. This minimises the margin of error, and allows users to communicate with fellow transcribers as they work on a document. We encourage that you consult others when you find yourself stuck in a transcription. Leave a note in the comments section while transcribing, or message past transcribers directly by looking at the transcription history.

Anyone can read, begin or edit a transcription, but only Mentors or transcribers reaching Champion level have the power to review and judge a transcription as complete. Learn more about miles and levels here »

We emphasise that transcriptions must contain as much of the text as possible, if not everything, before being marked for review. This includes headings, page numbers and other precise details, such as stamp descriptions on a postcard. Don’t forget to include any missing geotags!

How to Request Documents for Transcription

Have you found an interesting handwritten document on Europeana 1914-1918 that you would like to transcribe or share with others on Transcribathon?

All you have to do is go to the Europeana 1914-1918 website, find your chosen story and click the link  ‘Transcribe at transcribathon.eu’, found under the story images.


You will then be directed to transcribathon.eu, where you need to click ‘Confirm Upload Request’.

Once confirmed, our team will review the requested story and you can expect to see it available for transcription soon.

Further Tutorial Pages

User Guidelines: Learn more about being a part of our community.

How to Transcribe: Further help with your transcription.

Reading Handwriting: Tips for decoding old handwriting and view sample transcriptions.