Transcription Punctuation

Proper punctuation can be difficult to determine, especially in handwritten documents. Distinctions between a comma and a period, a sloppy period and a dash, or an upper or lower case C can be slight. We will attempt to transcribe punctuation as written, but will regularize some punctuation for ease of reading.


Sentences will always begin with a capital letter.

Other words that are clearly capitalized within a sentence should be silently capitalized in the transcription (no brackets). When in doubt, use modern usage. We will build a list of words that Addams commonly capitalizes as we go along.

Typographical errors in capitalization, such as with a proper name, will be silently corrected (no brackets).


Sentences will always end with terminal punctuation, usually a period, but if the sentence is a question, use a question mark. Do not bracket inserted punctuation.

Dashes can end sentences.


Dashes should be rendered as two hyphens — with one space between them and the words they separate — to separate them from hyphenated words.

Hyphenated words will be rendered as written, unless it appears that the hyphen was added solely because of a line break. If a word that is often hyphenated appears is broken at the end of the line, leave it hyphenated in the transcription.

Note that Hull-House is usually referred to with a hyphen.


Render parenthesis as written in the transcription. If there is a starting parenthesis but no ending parenthesis, silently add the ending make where you think it makes the most sense.
Use angle brackets < > or curly brackets { } as they are used in the text. If the original text uses square brackets [ ] which we have reserved for editorial information, replace them with curly brackets { }.


For people's name, ex. I. B. Smith, enter a space between the initials. For businesses or organizations, ex. I.B.M. do not add a space.


Superscripted text, whether numbers like 2d or letters like Mrs are always brought down to the line.


If bringing the superscript down to the line makes the text confusing, you can bracket it and add clarifying punctuation.

$1000 would be rendered [$10.00]

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