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Transcription Guide

Texts of Taste encourages visitors to contribute transcriptions for recipes which have yet to be transcribed. Transcriptions allow for recipes to be annotated by our community and overall contributes valuable data to research. Currently, Texts of Taste uses the transcription service, Scripto, to crowdsource transcriptions. Scripto does require that visitors create and have access to a MediaWiki account which we recognize is not ideal, but overall makes for the smoothest interface for transcribing our materials. 

screenshot of transcription link

In order to submit a transcription or to edit an existing transcription, navigate to an item page and scroll down until you see a heading that reads “Transcribe This Item,” with the name of the recipe’s PDF document below. 

Once you click the PDF link, you will be redirected to a page that will display the recipe pages as well as prompt you to login to Scripto using your MediaWiki account. 

screenshot of Scripto login

Clicking on the “Log in to Scripto” button will redirect you to a page where you can login. If you do not have an account with MediaWiki, please make an account here. You can alternatively login to Scripto using this link.

Once you have logged in, you will be redirected back to the transcription page where you will have the option to either edit the current transcription, navigate to the item’s wiki page to discuss the recipe, or to view the revision history of the transcription. 

Screenshot of the edit button

To edit an existing transcription or to contribute a new transcription, click the “edit” button which will prompt a text box to appear. You should type the transcription into this text box. Once you are done, click the “Edit Transcription” button to submit your transcription.

screenshot of the edit text box

How to Write a Transcription

Although many item pages include full scans of an entire page from a cookbook, please only submit transcriptions of recipes which have been annotated. Transcriptions are in a plain text format, so necessarily there will be some formatting of annotations lost. 

In cases where an annotation has been added to a printed line of the recipe, please type out the annotation to the best of your ability in brackets [ ]. For example, in Mrs. Drown’s recipe for Cucumber Pickles, an X has been added to the line next to Mrs. Drown’s name. The transcription of this line would thus read: “[X] Mrs. Drown.”

In cases where a newspaper clipping has been added to the page, please begin the transcription of the clipping with “NEWSPAPER CLIPPING” in brackets followed by the text of the clipping. For instance, a newspaper clipping entitled “Watermelon Preserves” pasted to a recipe page would be transcribed as: 


Watermelon Preserves

The best way to preserve watermelon rinds is through the use of a good brine]

Any transcribed annotation which does not include a descriptive heading such as “NEWSPAPER CLIPPING” or “PRESSED FLOWER” will be assumed to be a handwritten annotation. 

Transcriptions should always be written to be as close a copy of the original text as possible. This means that you should preserve any capitalizations and spelling mistakes. The annotations should be transcribed as best as you can discern. If handwriting is unclear, please indicate any possible mis-transcriptions in your submission and a team member will review your submission. 

Transcriptions may not immediately be available on the site as team members review contributions. Please be patient with us as we work to get your contributions up as soon as possible!