Transcription Prescription by William C. Edwards

Question (Mom): Who can you be texting over 1,000 times a day?
Answer (Daughter): IDN, MBF Jill? (I don’t know, my best friend Jill?)

Most of us have seen this cute commercial, but have you ever thought that this little girl might be a teacher some day?  Do you suppose that she is going to spend a year teaching her kids to write cursive, let alone traditional English, when they will hardly ever use it?

Fifty years from now, a national treasure will be lost. Just as very few people know how to use a slide rule today, very few will be able to easily read “cursive” writing.

The National Archives has thousands of reels of Civil War microfilm and literally miles of paper files which desperately need to be transcribed while there is enough people with skills to do it. Let’s organize such a project!

It took me about two years to transcribe twenty of these reels. One man can’t do it alone. Perhaps this would be a perfect project for the Government stimulus package.


William C. Edwards is co-editor of the new book The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence.

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