Help:Transcript pages



  • Make important genealogical source content, no longer under copyright, available online.
  • Link and add genealogical source content to relevant person and family pages on WeRelate.
  • Provide WeRelate person or family pages, citing a transcribed source, to back-link to an anchored position in the source transcription.

Frequently asked questions:

Creating Transcript Pages

What is a transcript?

A transcript is something transcribed, especially a written, typewritten, or printed copy: the transcript of court testimony; an academic transcript. A transcript differs from an extract and an abstract: an extract is a passage from a literary work -- an excerpt -- whereas an abstract is a statement summarizing the important points of a text.[1] Complete items - even if short - that refer to more than one person are well suited to a transcript page or page set.

If you have the will of William Ward, and you transcribe only his property list, that is an extraction. If you take that same will and record only the names of his kin and their places of residence, that is an abstract. A true transcript is to write out every single word and mistake (preferably using 'sic' to note the drafter's error and that it is not your typo) and also all of the symbols as they are written: &, +, }, &tc.

What's the background on the Transcript namespace at WeRelate?

In short, we wanted the ability to be able to search the content of sources. For a more in-depth look at the decisions, peruse Talk:Proposal for Transcript Management.

Can I add a transcription of something under copyright?


Is the Transcript: namespace the only place where I can put a transcript?

  • If the transcript is short and relates to only one person/family
    • post it directly to the Person/Family page;
  • If the transcript is in a Word, Excel, or PDF file and you don't want to re-type it
    • upload it just like you would upload an image, and link to it using a [[Media:]] link instead of an [[Image:]] link;
  • If you just want a quick way to post the transcript as wiki text
    • post it in the text of a MySource page;
  • If you think others would also be interested in this transcript and you are willing to put in a little extra time to make it useful to them
    • post it in the Transcript: namespace.

Also, before posting a transcription of a document in the Transcript: namespace, consider whether the document is of broad enough coverage (and long enough) to be a community resource, or whether it would be best transcribed as a part of the person/family page or the MySource page.

What page name should I choose for a Transcript page?

In general you may name the page as "Transcript:Associated Source/MySource Item"; in other words: "Transcript:Source Name/Subject Name" where the subject name is the title of the document or section of the document that you are transcribing. However for documents which come from a collection (and could possibly be referenced by multiple sources), such as ship passenger lists, you may want to be more descriptive of the list and less worried about the specific source you pulled it from. Be aware, however, that there may be differences between each source's list of names and how they list the names.

What about the Transcript:Associated Source page? Should I create anything there?

Be sure to add WeRelate as a repository and the transcript page as a place where the source content is available.

You can also transcribe any intro, preface, or table of contents, etc. If there are several related manuscripts, you should indicate as much in a bullet item in the Usage Tips section, for example, See Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale County, Mich.

How do I get the 'Add a new transcript entry' field on my Transcript:Associated Source page?

You can use the <addsubpage /> tag.

What should I put in the page fields?

You have the option of adding nothing to the fields (eg. Walker example), though it would make best use of the system to do so. There may be some transcript pages which existed before the fields were created, and these would not have utilized the first four fields.

  1. Source: The source associated with your item. This may be the 'Associated Source' part of the page name if you created your page name in the Transcript:Associated Source/Item format.
  2. Surnames: Surnames contained in the item
  3. Places: Places mentioned in the item
  4. Year range: The year range of the item you are transcribing. This is not necessarily the same year range as the source.
  5. Text: The transcript. You can also add commentary, headings, templates, images, links to person and family pages, etc. (eg. Tuttle). Just make certain that users know exactly what is and is not part of the transcript. If your commentary relates to only one person or one husband-wife-children family in the text, you may want to address the issue on their page, in case anyone else wants to link a different family/person to the transcript.

Ok. Now how do I link it to the source page?

Many possible ways, one of which is to list WeRelate as a repository of the source, and putting the link to the transcript in the URL of that repository on the Source's page. This would work in harmony with creating a Transcript:Associated Source page: link the associated source page to the Source page, and people could then look at the Associated page for all subitems. Or you could create a section on the Source page and list each item under that heading. Or...

Where can I learn techniques for transcribing documents?

Using Transcript Pages

How do I cite a transcript page?

Transcripts are associated with a source, so the source should be cited in the usual way (hopefully described on the associated source page). The availability of a transcript however, provides an opportunity to do a more useful citation that also provides a link directly to the appropriate section in the transcript. For example, John Tuttle cites the source Tuttle Family of New Hampshire, but the volume/page specifier is given as Transcript. The visible portion of the transcript link, instead of the word "Transcript", could equally well be specified as the volume/page information in a traditionally published example of the source if desired.

Can I include the text of a Transcript page on a different page without recreating the whole thing?

Yes. When you create the Transcript page (or if you didn't create it, edit it), add the tags <onlyinclude></onlyinclude> around the entire transcript, otherwise, the nifty summary box will appear on the linking page. Even if you don't want the entire thing, remember that someone else may. The <onlyinclude> tags are a tool of the mediawiki platform, and the use of them will include only the text surrounded by the tags when the page is included on a different page, or 'transcluded'.[2] In order to transclude the page, insert the following on whatever page you want the text on: {{Transcript:Page Name}}. Whatever page you insert it on will be added to the 'What links here' on the Transcript page menu. Using the Mexico Independent example, if I wanted to use that transcript on a page (person or family page, or in an article, or on a page in some other namespace), I would use the code {{Transcript:Mexico Independent/Lewis Probate Notice 24 Dec 1879}}, because that is the entire page name. You see the results of this at Minnie Lewis. As you notice, embedding the transcript this way causes all references to that particular page to appear in bold. Ingenious of the programmers.

If you want to include commentary on a specific person mentioned in the transcript on the transcript page and not on their own page(s), an option is to leave the commentary out of the <onlyinclude></onlyinclude> tags.



  1. The Free Dictionary
  2. Transclusion is generally the inclusion of the content of a document into another document by reference. In a Wikipedia context, it is the use of the template functionality of MediaWiki to include the same content in multiple documents without having to edit those documents separately. For more information and advanced usage, see Transclusion at Mediawiki Help