@ColoradoStateU Water Resources Archives Project: Delph Carpenter Diaries Project

From the Colorado State University Water Resources Archives (Patricia Rettig):

Why Transcription Matters

Handwritten text is impossible to electronically search. It can also be difficult to read. With transcription, both are easier: “6/20 Saturday – Cheyenne – Wyo-Colo. Took 9 AM train for Cheyenne for final arrangements in re abstracting of the record in Wyo-Colo. Consulted with Judge Lacey and John D. Clark until 4 PM …”

We are seeking volunteers to help transcribe such pages, in this case diaries of western water lawyer Delph Carpenter, to aid in research access.

How to Help

To contribute to this project: go to the Delph Carpenter Diaries page on the From the Page platform. Sign up for a free account, or sign in if you already have one. You can also transcribe up to three pages without an account. Pick a place to start and be sure to read the transcription conventions at the bottom of the page.

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About Transcribing Delph’s Diaries

Some standard transcription practices:

  • Transcribe handwritten text only, not preprinted text such as headers on diary pages; but please transcribe all dates including preprinted dates.
  • Do not transcribe words that are crossed out.
  • Spelling: Use original spelling if possible. Spell out ampersands, whether they are printed (&) or handwritten (similar to a plus sign).
  • Capitalization: Modernize for readability.
  • Punctuation: Add modern periods, but don’t add punctuation like commas and apostrophes.
  • Line breaks: Hit return once after each line ends. Two returns indicate a new paragraph, which may be notated in the original as indentation. Each diary entry should get its own paragraph.
  • Illegible text: If characters in a word are difficult to read, make a guess and enclose the entire word in single square brackets with a question mark at the end: [Tomlinson?]. If you can’t make out any letters at all, please enter [illegible]. You only need to enter [illegible] once for a series of illegible words.
  • A single newline indicates a line break in the original document, and will not appear as a break in the text in some views or exports. Two newlines indicate a paragraph, and will appear as a paragraph break in all views.
  • Also, review our “Decoding Delph” handwriting cheat sheet:

    Decoding Delph

    About Delph Carpenter
    The “Father of Interstate River Compacts,” Delph E. Carpenter (1877-1951) served the state of Colorado as a lawyer, state senator, and river commissioner. He wrote, negotiated, and promoted the Colorado River Compact, among others, following his service as lead counsel in the Wyoming vs. Colorado suit.

    Carpenter kept daily diaries, with varying levels of detail about his activities during the height of his career, almost continuously for 15 years. Read more about Carpenter in the Guide to the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family.

    Or, check out the biography of him:

    Silver Fox of the Rockies by Daniel Tyler
    Call Number: KF373.C37164 T95 2003
    ISBN: 0806135158
    Publication Date: 2003

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