Join SLQ’s New Transcription Project

Original records are fabulous, but unless you have the days (or weeks) to sit onsite and view these records in the archive or library going through them page by page, they remain unknown to most of the world. So to make them more accessible they need to be indexed, or even better, transcribed. And that’s exactly what the State Library of Queensland is doing with their latest project.

They write …

Are you something of an expert at deciphering handwriting? Or are you interested in improving your transcription skills?

We have recently digitised the letters received by the Colonial Secretary of the British Colony of New South Wales which relate to the Moreton Bay settlement and Queensland from 1822-1860. The correspondence documents the daily activities of a penal settlement, including petitions from prisoners’ wives, supply requests for items needed to establish and maintain the settlement, and proposed infrastructure plans.

This is a large and historically significant collection of 42,000 pages of letters and documents. These letters have never been available online before and will be a valuable research resource. However, the machine-generated transcripts of the Colonial Secretary’s letters are, on average, 50% accurate. Technology is great, but there is no substitute for the human perspective in deciphering handwriting.

So if you are interested in Queensland history, family history, or you simply enjoy the challenge of decoding handwritten documents, they would welcome your help. To be a part of their project, you can sign up at From The Page and start transcribing.