Your contributions of letters and your help with transcribing documents are critical parts of building German Heritage in Letters. We hope that you will get in touch with us if you have material you would like to contribute, but we can also use your help if you have experience reading German cursive script in both its modern and traditional forms (i.e., Kurrent).
One of the most basic difficulties of researching the history of everyday life is that a large amount of material is essentially inaccessible because individual documents have not been cataloged and their contents are not searchable. By helping to transcribe letters and prepare them for translation, you are making it possible for historians and other members of the public to learn more about the experience of individuals as they wrote letters meant to maintain connections across the ocean and across time. You can find a list of letters that have not been transcribed by searching for the tag “untranscribed” or following this link.
In transcribing and translating these materials, you may encounter words, phrasing, and attitudes that you find offensive or culturally insensitive. Our practice is to present the material in its original format in order to facilitate its use in research. The documents and their corresponding transcriptions reflect the culture and context in which they were created and not the views of project staff, other transcribers, the German Historical Institute, partner organizations or individuals that have contributed material, or our funders.
While it is not a requirement, we also encourage you to email contact /at/ germanletters.org to let us know you have signed up for an account. This way we will be able to let you know when new letters have been added to the site for transcription.
For tips on transcribing from “altdeutsche Schrift,” we recommend the German Script Tutorial created by the Brigham Young University Center for Family History & Genealogy.
Sign up for an account here.