14 October 2011

Grabbing the knowledge in documents

I was looking at some old document copies today. I can't decipher all of the words as I carefully transcribe it into a nice typed document. I need to use some of my proven methods for figuring out what it says:
  • Put it way for a while
  • Try to read it away from your home or the library where you copied it
  • Give it to another genealogist to decipher (don't tell them what you think it is)
  • Give it to a non-genealogist to decipher (don't tell them what you think it is)
  • Yes, I have already compared the letter and word formation with others on that page and a few pages before and after
9 times out of 10 one of these methods works. When it doesn't I tend to lecture myself that I should be able to figure this out. My youngest son can figure out what things say in a variety of languages so I should be able to read something in English, no matter the era!

    2 comments:

    The Scrappy Genealogist said...

    Good, simple advice. Just what the doctor ordered. Thank you. Jen

    Helen V Smith said...

    Another option is your friendly pharmacist or laboratory scientist. As a public health microbiologist who has spent 25 years reading doctors' handwriting.