Frequently asked questions

We encourage all volunteers to read the User guide which will walk you through how to sign up, transcribe, review and make the most of your experience as a volunteer transcriber.

I can't find any documents to transcribe

Since the public launch on Wednesday 14th February, the response has been truly overwhelming. In just over 48 hours, more than 1 million words have been transcribed by more than 20,000 volunteer transcribers. This accomplishment stands as a testament to your contributions and the strength of community and collaboration.

As we move forward, further collections (quests) will be added in the coming weeks by the Transcribe team.

We sincerely appreciate your patience as we work to make more collection records available online for transcription.

I signed up but don’t know what to do next. Will you inform us when my account is created?

After signing up you should receive an email to confirm your account and set your password. If you can’t find it in your inbox please check your spam or junk folder.

If after 24 hours you have not received this account confirmation email, please request a password reset link.

I am trying to create/update my password but the website won’t accept it?

Your password will need to meet a required level of complexity before it is accepted. Our password policy is:

  • Must be at least 12 characters in length
  • Contain at least 1 uppercase letter
  • Contain at least 1 lowercase letter
  • Contain at least 1 number
  • Contain at least one special character, such as a symbol or punctuation mark
  • Must not include your username

I am trying to log in but it keeps saying my email address or password is not correct. What should I do?

You may be entering either your email address or password incorrectly. If you have forgotten your password you can request a password reset link.

If you have had 5 or more unsuccessful attempts to log in, your account will be temporarily locked as a security measure. Please wait 1 hour before trying again.

I have completed a transcription. How do I know if it has been accepted?

You can check on the status of items which you have contributed to from your user profile page.

I wanted to begin a Transcription item but it shows ‘Someone is currently editing’. Can I transcribe that letter?

Currently this item is locked for editing by another volunteer. Once the volunteer finishes up and saves their work, the transcription item will get unlocked and will become available for others to contribute.

When I go to Transcription items page, I see a number of different messages for each item like 'Open to contribution' or 'Open for review' and not sure what they mean. Can you please explain?

This label indicates the current stage of a transcription items workflow. You can find more details about statuses in our User guide.

Once I sign up, how much time do I have to volunteer?

The amount of time you dedicate to volunteering is your choice - it can be 10 minutes a day or 10 minutes a year!

How can I receive updates about new items or quests?

Go into your user profile and choose Edit profile. Here you will be able to set your Email preferences, check the boxes next to which email notifications you would like to receive.

I accidentally submitted an incomplete transcription for review. How can I transcribe it again?

If the Transcription item is incomplete, our Reviewers will return the item to 'Open for contributions'.

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