Research | May 9, 2020

Reading time: 3 minutes

Are you looking for something to do while you are at home? We are looking for volunteers to help transcribe references to Bermuda’s maritime activities (boat building, fishing, whaling, sailing, etc.) in the Bermuda National Library’s digital collection of newspapers. This can be done from home at whatever time suits your schedule; all you need is an interest in Bermuda history and a computer with Internet access.

Summary of the Process

  • Send an email to to be assigned a specific month and year of the newspaper to search and transcribe. You will also receive a transcription template for you to use. 
  • Using the Royal Gazette section of the Bermuda National Library’s Digital Collection website: search through the month/year assigned, looking for articles, advertisements, and notices that mention maritime activities in Bermuda (boat building, fishing, whaling, piloting, salvage, racing, etc)
  • When you have identified a reference, transcribe it using Microsoft Word, identifying the newspaper name, issue, date, page number and text using the template below:

Newspaper name:

Issue or Volume:


Page Number:


  • Once you have completed the month assigned, send the final transcript to the National Museum of Bermuda via with the subject “Digital Transcription: Month Year”. Once we have received your transcription it will be added to our growing research files.

Basic Transcription Instructions:

Type What You See

Our main goal is to create text that mirrors this document. Write down words and paragraphs as you see them (see example below). Keep words in their original spelling, even if it is technically “wrong.” One exception: if a word is hyphenated because it goes across two lines, type it out as one word. If you find a word you can’t read make a note using double brackets [[ ]] like this: [[?]].

Don’t worry about Formatting

Keep it simple. You don’t have to indicate bolded or italicized text. Our goal is to improve readability and searchability, keeping it simple is the easiest way to accomplish this.

Save Frequently

Research and transcription is hard work and can take time, make sure you save your document frequently to avoid losing work.


If an article has an image associated with it, make a note using [[image]]. You can also describe the image eg. [[image – man pictured fishing]].

Example Transcription

The following advertisement was found in The Bermuda Gazette dated Saturday, October 6, 1798 No 765

The transcription would be completed as follows:

Publication: The Bermuda Gazette

Date: October 6, 1798

Issue or Volume: No 765

Page: 1



THE FISH POND on the Retreat Lands having been repeatedly opened of late by false keys or otherwise, and a number of Fish stole out of it, the subscriber will give the above Reward to any person or persons that will inform against the Offenders, so that they can be punished to the utmost rigour of the Law.

Edward Goodrich

St. George’s, Oct. 6, 1798

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at


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