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, even if the word is misspelled.
    • Spell out ampersands as "and", whether they are printed (&) or handwritten (similar to a plus sign).
    • Lory routinely failed to cross his "t"s. While the directions do say to transcribed as written, since this is a pattern, it's safe to assume he meant "t". Please allow for this exception and transcribed them as "t"s.
  • Capitalization: Maintain original capitalization.
  • Punctuation: Transcribe punctuation marks as found. If needed, add periods to indicate the end of a sentence or hyphens to indicate a split word, but otherwise do not add in missing punctuation like commas and apostrophes.
  • Line Breaks: Hit return once after each line of text ends to indicated a line-break in the original document. Hit return twice to indicate a new paragraph.
  • Split words: Lory often began a word at the end of a line of text and finished it on the next line. To mark split words, add a hyphen to the end of the first line if not already present.
  • Illegible text: Indicate illegible readings in single square brackets: [illegible]. Indicated guesses in single square brackets followed by a questions mark: [Dr?].
  • When finished with transcription, save your changes. Check "Needs Review" to bring confusing or unclear results to reviewers' attention                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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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