The Massachusetts Studies Network

Please post a "Reply" to this discussion thread that includes a description of your historic diary projects along with any open questions or related problems you've encountered.

There is such a wealth of collective wisdom and experience in this network - we can help each other with problems of transcription, preservation, digitization, publication and more!


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At The Digital Ark, we worked on an amazing, historic diary project for a Rhode Island family. We digitally preserved their relative's Civil War Diary which was written in old German script. This project involved digitization, transcription, translation, and the production of a searchable PDF document to be distributed to other family members. The PDF contains both the translation and the transcription. In some sections of the diary, the author ran short of ink, and we were able to digitally enhance the contrast for legibility. One challenge was finding the right person for the translation and transcription, which required some handwriting analysis capabilities. Unfortunately, the family was only able to locate volume 2 of a 2 volume set of diaries. It was a wonderful project to work on, and the result is beautiful. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Sounds like a great project, Diana. Did you create a digital volume using PDF (i.e. with cover, index, etc?) Was the family ever interested in posting the diary on the web for more far-flung (or as yet unknown!) family to access?
Hi Joanne: No, we created an e-book. Since we couldn't OCR it due to the old script German in which it was written, it was transcribed in German and then translated into English, and these were saved in color-coded Comments fields. Unfortunately, the family member who was our client passed away after we completed the project. I don't know, but they might be interested in posting it online. Any suggestions?

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