150 Years of University History

Resources to assist you in your research on topics related to CSU's history

Transcribe with us!

Why Transcription Matters

Handwritten text is impossible to electronically search.  It can also be difficult to read.  With transcription, both are easier. 

Compare the transcript below to the page of the diary to the left:

"Wednesday, August 5

Drove to Denver to present request of State Board of Agriculture to make application for a 45% PWA grant to build a $25,000 library at Ft. Lewis and a 5 to 7 thousand dollar addition to the Soils Building at the college."

We are seeking volunteers to help transcribe the handwritten diaries of Charles A. Lory, Colorado State University's fifth president, to aid in research access.  As CSU's longest serving president, Lory holds interest for those researching topics as varied as the history of CSU, higher education, New Deal era programs, Northern Colorado irrigation, and federal water project development.

How to Help

To contribute to this project: go to Charles A. Lory 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.

To get updates on the Colorado State University Archives and this project, follow the CSU Libraries on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

About Transcribing Lory's Diaries

Some standard transcription practices:

  • Transcribe both handwritten and pre-printed text such as dates and headers.
  • 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 or 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, for more information, review our transcription guide and handwriting cheat sheet, A Lory Primer.

About Charles A. Lory

Charles A. Lory (1872-1969) was the fifth president of Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University).  From 1909 to 1940, Lory oversaw significant expansion of the college.  He was involved with many local and national organizations, most of which focused on water use, agriculture, and higher education.

Lory kept detailed daily diaries about his professional and personal life beginning in 1898, and while he wrote only occasionally for the next three decades, from 1935 to 1963 he wrote nearly every day.  Read more about Lory in the Guide to the Papers of Charles A. Lory.

Or, check out this article by Colorado State University Emeritus Professor of History, James E. Hansen II, "Charles A. Lory and the Challenges of Colorado's Semi-Arid Frontier" (August, 1980).

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Vicky Lopez-Terrill
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