The following should be used with the Transcription 101 tips at:


These further tips represent the practices used by the librarians of the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library in transcribing the early House and Senate Journals.

The practice for transcribing journals is to transcribe by paragraphs without added line breaks, not line by line. However, lists (even lists within paragraphs) should be separated by line breaks between each entry.

Marginal notations should be placed in square brackets [ ] and should precede the related material. When in doubt about the spelling for a small marginal notation, be guided by the spelling in the main text.

When dealing with discreet columns (i.e., the left column is completely separate from the right column), the left column should be transcribed in its entirety top to bottom, and the right column should be transcribed after it. This is most commonly found in the index. Within the index, treat page references in the same column as the subject entry.

Do not hyphenate words divided between lines unless the hyphen is needed to retain the sense of the statement. So



should be rendered as "combine"

When you have running text, do not chop it up with spacers such as {. On the other hand, use dashes - to separate items in a list.

Do not expand abbreviations. It is usually proper to include a period at the end of an abbreviation, so "Wm." for "William" or "Jona." for "Jonathan"

Misspellings: transcribe the spelling error and put correct spelling in square brackets [ ] immediately after.

Use the Civil Government listings from the printed Resolves to standardize the spellings of legislators' names. Civil Government listings can be found by year in the following folders (look toward the bottom of the list for the filename including the abbreviation "CivGov"):


Sundry, not Sunday. The journals frequently refer to "sundry" things, i.e., "various." This sometimes looks like "Sunday," but it isn't. Look for the sense of the statement.

Use the ampersand & between words to represent "and". The plus sign + should be reserved for mathematical calculations.

Other common abbreviations

& als [for "and others"]

& ux [for "and wife"]

do [for "ditto"]

Jany, Feby [for "January" "February"]

Secy [for "Secretary"]

Viz [for "videlicet" or "namely"]

Inst. [for "instant" or "of this month"]

Ult. [for "ultimo" or "of last month"]