What is transcription?

Transcription is the act of typing up the information in handwritten historical records to make it more easily accessible. Every year, thousands of family history records are transcribed by volunteer-led online projects. All you need to transcribe is a computer or laptop with an Internet connection and some ability to read old handwriting.


What is Transcription Tuesday?

Transcription Tuesday is Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine’s annual online volunteer event for family historians. While the growth of online family history websites has made many records more accessible, millions of important historic documents that could be the key to tracing someone’s ancestor still only exist in paper form.

We first launched Transcription Tuesday in 2017. Every year since then, our readers have come together online to support a variety of not-for-profit transcription projects. It’s a great way to practice your family history skills, and the records often tell fascinating stories of ordinary people’s lives in history. We’ve also had some major successes in opening up records for family historians. In the course of last year's Transcription Tuesday, we transcribed nearly 25,000 records.

This year, we many people are looking for ways to connect with others and stay occupied as we enter another UK lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus. Whether you’re an experienced transcriber or it’s your first time, we would love you to join us in supporting one of this year’s four important Transcription Tuesday projects.

When is Transcription Tuesday 2021?

Transcription Tuesday 2021 will take place on 2 February 2021 – volunteers from outside the UK are welcome to join at any time on that date in your time zone!

How do I take part in Transcription Tuesday?

To take part in Transcription Tuesday, all you need to do is choose the project you want to support and follow the instructions on our website to take part. We’d love to hear how you’re getting on, so please share your experiences, any interesting stories you uncover and photographs of you at work by email, on our Facebook group, or on Twitter with #TranscriptionTuesday. If you have any problems transcribing, please contact the project organisers.

What are this year’s Transcription Tuesday projects?

This year’s four Transcription Tuesday projects are:

FamilySearch: English parish registers
Addressing Health: Post Office pension records
Every Name Counts: concentration camp inmate records
Voices Through Time: Coram Foundling Hospital records


Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine